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On April 16th, we were having dinner and discussing taxes. Actually, I noticed no one in a sweat at my workplace on the 15th and asked my husband about his. He talked to one person who had a problem. He pushed the button to electronically file late in the evening and the return wasn't accepted. His son had already filed and had not said he could be claimed as someone else's dependent.

Now in this case, it was pretty much just crossed wires(and a couple of 1040Xs to be done) but it made me wonder - what happens when someone already claimed the dependent or the person claimed themself ?

rad
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Now in this case, it was pretty much just crossed wires(and a couple of 1040Xs to be done) but it made me wonder - what happens when someone already claimed the dependent or the person claimed themself ?

If the parties don't get it resolved themselves through amended returns, the IRS will sort it out for them, inquiring of all for the pertinent facts and proof. When they become aware of the problem, if the earlier filing was incorrect the later filer should just go ahead and file on paper, since it's probably not going to get resolved in time for an electronic filing.

Phil
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what happens when someone already claimed the dependent or the person claimed themself ?

A couple of years ago I filed my return and it was rejected due to the fact that someone had already filed a return with my SSN. After verifying my parents did not claim me, I started calling. If I remember correctly, I had to send in proof of identity or something along those lines, along with a letter explaining that my SSN was improperly used.

They did an investigation and got back to me a week or so later. They claimed it was a transposed number that resulted in my SSN being used. It was a bit of a hassle but nothing too bad.

dt
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If the parties don't get it resolved themselves through amended returns, the IRS will sort it out for them, inquiring of all for the pertinent facts and proof. When they become aware of the problem, if the earlier filing was incorrect the later filer should just go ahead and file on paper, since it's probably not going to get resolved in time for an electronic filing.

In my real case, I'm sure it'll get straightened out just fine. Personally, I do my kids' taxes for which they are incredibly grateful. For my oldest for whom 2003 will be confusing, I'll do a couple of scenarios and then talk to her.

In a hypothetical situation that I'm curious about, if someone was divorced and the other party went against a divorce agreement on dependency, does this mean that the IRS would enforce the original divorce agreement ?

rad
still with the original spouse:)
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In a hypothetical situation that I'm curious about, if someone was divorced and the other party went against a divorce agreement on dependency, does this mean that the IRS would enforce the original divorce agreement ?

It depends on how the agreement is written. Federal law gives the dependency exemption to the custodial parent unless all of the required information is in the decree. See the discussion of Children of Divorced or Separated Parents in Publication 501.

Phil
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