Skip to main content

Filing Tax Question

Albany, NY |

I have a niece (5 and disable (mental)) who collect ssi from the gov't every month. She resides with me and her mother. The mother doesn't work. I just got a job the beginning of July of 2011. Before this we were paying bills such as rent, food, electric bill and etc with a settlement I received from a car accident.

For the 5 months I worked out of the year in 2011, I made a pinch over what she received from the gov't for ssi. Since it was the settlement from the car accident that I was using to pay for the bills before I got my job, could I claim her as a dependent. Her ssi, couldn't only do the bills.

Would I have to have proof of the settlement money or something like that?

Thank you for your advice and help.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. You and the mom should agree that only one of you provided the majority support. Don't both claim her and have it come back to you.

    It also may be a personal thing, where mom may not want her child's exemption anywhere but with her.

    Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.


  2. Since your sister is her actual parent, you can only claim her as a dependent if your sister agrees to not do so. If you both do it, you will lose. But since the child lived with you more than half of the year, and it is your niece, you can claim her as a qualifying child and everything that comes with such as Head of Household. But a non-parent is only allowed to do this if the parent that the child also lives with agrees to not claim the child.

    Christopher Larson
    www.bellevue-tax-attorneys.com
    www.insightlawfirm.wordpress.com


  3. Your sister is entitled to the deduction as the parent. She can release the deduction to you if you qualify as a qualifying relative. You both can not claim her in the same year.

    Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  4. It would be best if they could all privately agree who gets to claim the exemptions before they all file. Form 8332 could be used, if appropriate.