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What I had in mind: can I regard her lump-sum payment for this year to be reimbursement to me for her prior-year living expenses (which, in fact, is what it was)? And what documentation do I need.

I don't know if this would hold up under examination or not. If you do it, I suggest you go back and recalculate support for the years in question to determine whether she still would have qualified as a dependent. (I'm assuming you claimed her as a dependent in those years.) IOW, don't try to say that payments in 2000 were for prior years' support but fail to include it in total support for those years.

You might want to try the IRS e-mail question tool at

Phil Marti
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