Filing Tax Question

Asked over 2 years ago - 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. Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  2. Christopher Michael Larson

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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

  3. Henry Daniel Lively

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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... more
  4. J David Hopkins

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

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