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What to do if someone claims you as a dependent without your consent or knowledge

Castro Valley, CA |

I have filed a married filing separate tax return but my ex claimed me as a dependent on his return without ever telling me . What are my options regarding taking action against him ? Is there anything that can be done besides reporting it to the IRS ?

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Attorney answers 3


You can paper file your own tax return claiming yourself. This will cause the IRS to question you being claimed as a dependent. Also, write a letter to the IRS explaining that you are not his dependent and believe that you were claimed on his return. You should file as single instead of married filing separately since you are no longer married.

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.


You are not the IRS or the police. Let Mr Big Shot learn the errors of his way from the authorities directly and without any involvement from you.

When you filed your own tax return, you used your social security number. Since your ex would have had to list your social security number to claim you as an exemption, the IRS computers will trigger a review of both returns, and will contact your ex to explain why he attempted to claim you as a dependant. OOPS!

Hope this perspective helps!


There is not much that can be done unless you are denied you exemption because your damages are minimal. The same holds true for CA.

Disclaimer of California Attorney. Laws differ from state to state. Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract. Good Luck starts with a strategy and a plan. Robert J. Suhajda, MS,CPA Attorney-At-Law 17721 Norwalk Blvd. #43 Artesia, CA 90701 562-924-8922 Tax Relief Lawyer. Former financial auditor and controller. Admitted to US Tax Court, Income Tax, IRS representation, Fiduciary income tax returns, Estate and Gift tax returns, Homeowner Association Strategist.