My husband and I were separated end of August 1999.Given that during 1999 I contributed nearly twice what he contributed in marital salary/wages to the upkeep of our marital home....And now find myself with the prospect of owing much more taxes than anticipated since my witholdings were based on parameters that are no longer.Given that his first ex-wife (natural mother of the children) signed her rights to claim them as dependents over to him...Given that we had the children an average of 16 days a month.Can I claim them as dependents for 1999?And if I legally can, what happens if we both claim them? (A real possibility since my not-soon-enough-to-be ex-husband and I don't talk.)Thanks, fools!
Beware, I am not a lawyer or a CPA, and I don't even play one on TV. You want to read IRS Publication 501. I think the answer to your question is No, you can't claim them.Here's my reasoning. While you and soon-to-be ex had the kids for more than half the time while you were living together, they are not your children. (I'm assuming you did not adopt them, and that you don't have them now.) How much money you made compared to stbx is irrelevant. So, now, you will not have provided more than half the support of the children. So, I think you fail the relationship test and also the support test.But don't believe me. As I say, all I do is read the IRS publications.I guess a larger question is whether it's worth fighting over the amount of money at stake. If you are wealthy, it's maybe 31% of $5500 if there are 2 children. If you were to win, how much of that would the lawyers get?I had a friend who went through what started as an amicable divorce, but eventually they fought about who got the garden hose. It soured her disposition forever.
Given that his first ex-wife (natural mother of the children) signed her rights to claim them as dependents over to him...=========Here IMHO is where he gotcha.Under current law the custodial parent has the right to the dependency exemption unless that parent signs it over to the non-custodial parent.If he files seperately and has the signed form from the first Ex he will be entitled to the exemptions.Regardless of the support issues.This change in the law IIRC was for divorces occurring after 1986.Pete
Tina - you have the right advice on what to do BUT toanswer your question on a thing like this, here is whatreally happens at filing time:1. First Filer Wins - temporarily. Electronic filinggoes through for the first filer.2. Second filer files electronically and finds thatkids SS#'s have been "used" and no deduction is allowed3. Here is where it hits the fan - if Second filer islegally entitled to take the deduction, they mail intheir return (it was electronically rejected)and proof of being able to take the deduction.4. THE IRS MAKES THE CALL! And guess what? They aregoing to go with the legal filer and the other guy/galis going to get the tax bill, and 30 days to pay. This may take several weeks to several months to get"cleared up", but it WILL HAPPEN!
<<Under current law the custodial parent has the right to the dependency exemption unless that parent signs it over to the non-custodial parent. If he files seperately and has the signed form from the first Ex he will be entitled to the exemptions. Regardless of the support issues.>>Perfectly stated. And absolutely correct.TMF TaxesRoy
<<Tina - you have the right advice on what to do BUT to answer your question on a thing like this, here is what really happens at filing time: 1. First Filer Wins - temporarily.>>Perhaps temporarily. But in the long run, the person who is legally entitled to the exemptions will get them. The IRS computers will make sure of that. So why try to claim the exemption when you know it will eventually fail? And you'll owe more taxes, penalties, and interest? Why not just rob a bank and hope that you don't get caught?TMF TaxesRoy
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