Elmhurst, IL asked in Tax Law, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Illinois

Q: My ex is threatening with charging me income tax for claiming my son. Can he do this?

I have been separated from my son’s father for over a year. Never married. No court order for parenting time or child support. He always claimed our son on income tax returns. This year I claimed our son. My son’s father had his W4 setup to claim 1 and is telling me he’s going to charge me for that income tax money because I claimed our son.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In situations involving tax claims on dependents, the right to claim a child on a tax return typically depends on IRS rules concerning custodial and non-custodial parents. If you have provided the majority of the support for your son and he has lived with you for more than half of the year, you generally have the right to claim him as a dependent on your tax return. The IRS has specific guidelines to determine which parent is eligible to claim a child as a dependent, including factors like where the child spends most of their time and who provides the majority of financial support.

Your ex-partner cannot "charge" you for claiming your son on your taxes. If he believes that he had the right to claim your son as a dependent, his recourse would be through the IRS, not by directly charging you money. If both parents claim the child in the same tax year, the IRS will apply tiebreaker rules to determine who can rightfully claim the child as a dependent. This might involve providing documentation to prove where the child has lived and who has provided their support.

It might be beneficial for you to consult with a tax professional or a legal advisor to understand your rights and ensure you're following the IRS's rules correctly. They can provide guidance based on your specific situation and help you navigate any disputes with your ex-partner. Understanding and adhering to IRS guidelines will be crucial in resolving this issue fairly and legally.

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