We did not live together during that tax year. Is that legal as he received over $7000 including child tax credits. Is this legal?
If the kids are not related to him, then he cannot claim head of household. He should not have gotten Earned Income Credit for the kids. He should not have gotten Child Tax Credit/Additional Child Tax Credit for the kids. He should not have gotten Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit for the kids. Exemptions are fine if kids lived with him for the entire year. IRS has a tip line that you can call if you suspect fraud. You might even get a financial reward for reporting him. At the very least, you can prevent him from claiming the EIC for the next 10 years.
Your ex-husband probably cannot claim these children on his tax return. He and the children must be qualifying relatives who meet the IRS “Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent”. In short, the insert from the IRS Publication 501: “(1) You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse (if filing jointly), could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer; (2) You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid; (3) You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico; (4) You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative.” You may find more details at the IRS Publication 501 at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/index.html.
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Your husband is not entitled to claim had of household or claim the kids as dependents, claim the earned income credit our the child our the child tax credit. He may also have wrongfully claimed a healthcare subsidy as well.
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The other responses have addressed the issue of claiming the child tax credits. My question is, did you sign and file a joint return? If so, you need to see a tax professional. You may have some exposure if you willingly and knowingly signed a fraudulent return. Even if you did not sign the return knowing it was false, now that you do know, you are likely required to take action to correct it. If you did not file a joint return, reporting your husband may result in a reward as discussed by others.
Am I correct in assuming that what's taking place, is you are trying to calculate your respective incomes so you can determine how much to ask for in the divorce negotiations? And you're also considering threatening the tax issue?
Think carefully here about how and how far you want to push this issue. I try not to answer these questions with "hire a lawyer." But this one, I think you really want someone who sees the "big picture" to help you figure out how this plays into your divorce litigation strategy. There are a lot of pitfalls here.
Hire a competent divorce attorney to handle this for you. Reading your question and comments indicates that there are many issues requiring professional guidance from someone who has been through this before.
This is a general Q&A Forum for discussion purposes only. Anything read here should be considered marginal information at best. It would be foolish to make important decisions based on this information. Real-life legal decisions are important and should not be trusted to the free-flow of thoughts on the internet. If you need assistance, hire a professional who can listen to all of the facts and help you make informed decisions.
it may be improper in it maybe that will trigger an audit but if you guys were together for part of the year and the children live with him then he may be able to take the credit
It does not sound like legitimate deductions.
It does sound like you should get a divorce from this guy. Hire a lawyer ASAP.
This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.
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