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Ex claimed our child on his taxes without my knowledge or permission. If I file and include her will they audit him or both ?

Rahway, NJ |
Filed under: Tax law

I need to file taxes from last year. I find out my ex claimed our child without my permission. My child lived with me full time while my ex lived with us some of the time. I provided about 80% of child care, clothing and food expenses with my ex only contributing sometimes. I want to know if I file my taxes and include my daughter knowing he has already filed will they reject my claim or audit us? He never told me he claimed her I just happened to find out form the person who did his taxes. What can I do? I need my refund and I have the proof that I was her primary care giver for that year...

Attorney Answers 2

  1. The tax preparer told you? Well, that's a huge no-no. But that aside...

    it is possible that the IRS will cross-match the SS# and see that the dependent was claimed twice. From your facts it appears that you are entitled to claim your child but there is a risk that you will be asked about it since you filed second. I think the best you can do is truthfully and fully file your return and provide proof later if asked. Make sure you have documentation to support the filing and discuss it with you tax preparer who may not be the best if they are disclosing private information!

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

  2. Claiming your daughter as a dependent won't necessarily trigger an audit of either return, but the IRS will discover that two different parents claimed the same child, and someone's exemption will be disallowed. If you have proof that you're entitled to the exemption over your ex-spouse, then you will most likely be given the exemption - but it will probably take a while to be sorted out by the IRS. In the meantime, you won't receive your refund check. Do you have a marital settlement agreement or final judgement that addresses which parent will take the tax exemption?