Did the IRS reject your tax return because someone else claimed your dependent?
Claiming a dependent is usually pretty simple: you give the IRS their social security number, certifying that your relationship with that person satisfies a few simple rules.
Things can get more complicated, especially if someone else also claims the same person as a dependent. If they file their return first, the IRS will assume it’s legitimate and award them the full tax benefit of the dependent. When you attempt to e-file your return, it will be rejected.
The process is fairly straightforward. After your e-filed return has been rejected because someone else claimed the same dependent, you need to file a paper return. You can still prepare your return online. Instead of e-filing, you will need to print it out, sign it, and mail it to the IRS.
With your return, include a cover letter explaining your situation to the IRS as well as evidence proving that you have the right to claim the dependent (ie: medical records, school records, etc.).
The IRS will then review both returns claiming that dependent and determine which person should be claiming the dependent based on tax law.
The first thing to do is to make sure that you actually can claim the person in question as a dependent. There are two types of dependents, qualifying children and qualifying relatives, and both have different requirements.
Criteria for claiming a qualifying child
In order to claim someone as a qualifying child, he or she must
- Be your biological or adopted child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, half sibling, step-sibling, or a descendant of one of these
- Be under age 19, under age 24 if a full-time student, or any age if permanently and totally disabled
- Remain a U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
- Not be married, or be married but not filing a joint return
- Have lived with you for at least half the year.
- Not have provided more than half of his or her own support
Criteria for claiming a qualifying relative
In order to claim someone as a qualifying relative, he or she must
- Have lived with you all year as a member of your household, or be one of the following family members: child, parent, sibling, stepparent, stepchild, step-sibling, half sibling, grandparent, grandchild, child-in-law, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew.
- Remain a U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
- Not be married, or be married but not filing a joint return
- Not be a qualifying child of you or someone else
- Have a gross income of less than $4,000
- Have more than half of their total support for the year provided by you
When you sent your cover letter and evidence along with your return, you should strive to prove that you satisfy all of the requirements for the type of dependent that you are trying to claim.
Can I find out who claimed my dependent?
The IRS can’t tell you who else has claimed the dependent for several reasons. One is that since they don’t know who made the right claim, they don’t want to violate the privacy of someone who really is claiming their own child. Another is that there’s always the potential for mistakes, and it doesn’t make much sense to punish someone for accidentally writing a “4” that looks like a “9” when copying a Social Security number.
What if two people both meet the requirements to claim a dependent?
If two different people both have the right to claim the dependent according to the criteria listed above, the IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year. If the dependent lived with both people for an equal amount of time, then the IRS will award the dependent to the taxpayer with the higher AGI.
Why dependents require a Social Security number
For a while, dependents didn’t require a Social Security number at all. The IRS used to take taxpayers’ word for it when they claimed dependents. But in 1987, the rule changed to require taxpayers to give a Social Security number for every dependent they claimed. And suddenly, seven million dependents disappeared. Many of them were probably due to misunderstandings: two divorced parents each claiming all of their kids, for example. But others could have been due to shady behavior, including claiming children while knowing someone else would claim them, or even fabricating dependents entirely.
Prevent this in the future
The problem can be solved by mailing in a paper return. But how do you prevent this from happening in future years? The IRS is working to improve its safeguards against tax fraud and identity theft, but these aren’t perfect. The best thing you can do to prevent someone else from claiming your dependent is to file your taxes as early as possible. That way your e-filed return will be accepted and theirs will be rejected. You’ll get your refund on time and they will be required to prove they meet the dependent criteria.
Some food for thought
In situations like the ones discussed above, there tends to be emotion involved from both parties. The IRS is required to base all final decisions solely on tax law. When dealing with the IRS, it is most productive to stick to the facts. This will save you time and stress.
746 Replies to “Someone Else Claimed My Dependent”
Hi, My sons father had claimed myself and our son as dependents (2010) and come to find out his aunt had already claimed our son (and possibly myself) because we had lived with them in 2009. We only lived with them for 3 months of 2010 and they never asked for our permission to do so. They are claiming we depended on them during both years but my sons father was working full-time both years (with only a 4 week break because of a death of our best friend). He provided everything for my son and I during both of those years. I’m not sure how to go about this situation and could use any advice regarding this issue, please and thank you!
My federal return was rejected. My boyfriend said he knew I claimed our kid he was just “seeing if he could get anything”. He got the money and i didn’t but according to him I filed first. Could this be?
Hi, I do not know if i am contacting the correct place, but I am seperated from my husband and disabled. Is it possible that he can claim me as a dependent on his tax return?
If so, is there a way i can find out if he has? For some reason this has been heavy on my mind and i need to know if it’s possible.
I have no other of checking online, only through the library computer…so could you email me the answer(s) to my email address?
One of our customer service representatives will contact you by email regarding this issue.
I have claimed my daughter for the past 3 years and all of a sudden her mother said she claimed her this year but she only worked 3 months. I feel like she had someone else claim her. I support her more than her mother. Shoul i file an amended taan amended tax return. Please email me @firstname.lastname@example.org. than you
As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.
After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.
To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependent.
I don’t file taxes is a way to find out if this guy carried my children
You can contact the IRS directly. To save the typical IRS phone hold time, I suggest contacting your local IRS office. Before calling them, you will need to have the dependent’s SSN, DOB and full name available as well as your own information to verify. If your children were claimed as dependents, the IRS may not be able to tell you who claimed them for security purposes. However, they will let you know how to proceed if the person claimed them unlawfully.
In what kind of cases would it go further then you demonsrating your position as the rightful HOH?
Is There A # That I Can Call Too See If My Child Has Been Claimed Already?
Can I have the number to find out if someone is already claimed my child
Try to e-file they’ll let you know
My ex husband claimed all 4 of my children on his taxes and myself without my permission. I had actually notified him through email and text before tax season opened he was NOT allowed to claim any of us. Also 3 of the kids are Not his.
How do I turn him in? I do Not want to be held liable for his tax fraud. He will not give me a copy of it either.
As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your children.
After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependents. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.
To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependents.
I have 2 kids i have custody of them for a year. How do i block there social security number. To keep any from filing them
We don’t believe this is possible. However, you may contact the IRS and/or Social Security Administration for information.
My soon to be ex-husband claimed me and my 2 daughters on his taxes,we didn’t even live with him half a year. Not to mention he’s not even the father. He has no right to claim them. He’s not the father. What do I do
Can I have pH # to check if my kids where claimed on taxes 2014
Someone claim me ,and I was trying to file my own taxes what to do
I’m sorry to hear this happened to you. The steps you’ll need to take will be fairly straightforward and even easier to prove than it would be than if you needed to claim a dependent. With your situation, you will still need to paper file your tax return. With your return, provide a cover letter explaining the situation along with proof that you are the actual taxpayer and have a right to claim your personal exemption. Provide documents such as medical records, your birth certificate, mortgage letter, etc. Anything that proves your identity, address and DOB should do. You can still prepare your tax return online using our website. Instead of e-filing, you will choose to paper file. You’ll just print, sign and mail your return to the IRS instead of submitting it electronically. If you have any questions, give our tax team a call at 877-289-7580.
What if IRS has not rejected my return and still shows process in this is not normal cause of action ex owes back child support and claimed my son by showing fraudulent court order
According to your situation, it is possible that your return is under going additional review. You could contact the IRS for further details about the status of your return at 1-800-829-1040.
I need to know who claimed my daughter when she lived with me the whole year of 2015 which I have proof of school records, medical, etc.
Unfortunately, for security purposes, the IRS will not let you know the specific individual who claimed your daughter as a dependent. What I strongly suggest you do is paper file your return along with ALL documentation that proves that you are the custodial parent eligible to claim your dependent. Once you raise a flag with the IRS, they will take further steps to help you. Although this process can be time consuming, all necessary precautions are taken into account to make sure that the dependent child is claimed by the correct individual. Your documentation will more than likely suffice (based on what you stated above).
I need a address to report a fraud
You will need to contact the IRS either by mail or phone. The Tax Fraud Hotline phone number is 1-800-829-0433. If you plan to print the form offline, please refer to the IRS website page HERE. You’ll choose the corresponding fraud type and the form that goes along with it.
If back child support owed owing parents tax return is flagged and parent owed child support received the refund of owing parent. I will file my own motion and information referral to IRS. Attorney General is State of Texas IRS is Federal.
Unsure have full legal custody and son said my ex niece did.
Some file my child without my permission and her grandmother took care of her all year and her return was rejected
My niece lives with me and I think it’s only right that I claimed her on my income tax cause i takes care if her but I think someone else did it want to know who
What is the #?
The IRS number is 800-829-1040.
This number is absolutely useless! Its all automated and no human picks up. Add to that it keeps telling you to go to the IRS website then hangs up on you. I need an educated English speaking human to speak with so I can straighten this out. My child has been taken care of by me and lived with me since birth and the childs father does the bare minimum yet he claimed him on his taxes. Where is a valid number?
I definitely suggest contacting your local IRS office. This will ensure that you speak with a person instead of being forwarded through to the automated answering service.
This same thing has happened to my daughter and her ex. When you talk about evidence, what documentation does she need to prove that her daughter lives with her 360 days of the year?
Along with a cover letter explaining your situation to the IRS, you should include dental or medical records from the year, court orders proving you are the custodial parent, school records with your address listed, etc. The evidence just needs to show that you fit the requirements to be claiming the child over the other person who attempted to.
What documents did she need to send to the IRS to prove that the child been living with you all they life this just happened to me this year and I been carrying my grandbaby ever since I been filing
I am not sure what happened because we filed paper. But we went on line to get our transcripts and both of my children had been deleated from my tax return causing us to owe as apposed to getting a tax return.
There is NO-ONE who can claim my kids, I was divorced and their Dad has no contact and pays no support. In fact their names were changed 3 years ago and he has no clue what there names even are, much less their SS#.
The thing is my son is applying for college financial aid and we need correct tax transcripts NOW. There has already been a huge delay. And the internet says they will not even send us a rejection letter explaining things until the 2nd of next month. Is that insane or what. Nothing online says someone else is claiming them, they have just been deleted, with no explanation at all. All information was given correct names and socials daughter checked for CTC. I am just disgusted.
You have to file a amended return to add them to your taxes! Easiest is go into a tac place and they’ll charge you upfront thou. But they’ll make sure that it’s all changed nd updated hope this helps.
Is there a number I can call to find out if anyone is claiming my son?
There no direct phone number to call for this information. You can contact the IRS but there is no guarantee that they will be able to provide you with this information over the phone. The one thing to do in a situation like this is file your tax return as soon as possible, claiming your dependent. If someone has claimed your son already, than your return will be rejected and you will need to provide proof to the IRS that you are eligible to claim the child. If your return is not rejected for claiming your son as a dependent, then you will know that no one has claimed him. Anyone who attempts to claim your child as a dependent will have their return rejected.
I have been having to mail my tax return in for the past 3 years because my children’s father has gotten his hands on their SS# and claims them every year. He has not seen them in years and has no right claiming them on anything, I have sole custody of them and have sent letters to the IRS along with every piece of documentation that I could think of and they are still allowing this to happen. When I call to talk to someone they always tell me that there is nothing that they can do about him claiming them it is pretty much a first come first serve basis. I would really love to know how to get this issue taken care of…. Thank you in advance… Tasha
It is a shame that this is such an issue and it happens more than you would believe each year! The IRS has a loose ruling on this type of situation in order to avoid getting involved with any disputes among ex-spouses.
You do have another option, however it will take a bit longer to claim your refund each year from the IRS. Unless you are prepared to file your tax return on the very day that the IRS begins accepting and e-filing, it will be tough to race your ex-spouse to it. This is what you will need to do. File your return as you believe to be correct. This means you should claim your children as dependents. If your ex-spouse claimed them on his tax return and has been accepted already, then your return will be rejected. You will be asked to provide sufficient proof to the IRS that you are the parent that can claim the children on your taxes. The IRS considers the custodial parent to be the one able to claim the children as dependents (unless otherwise stated by a court order, etc). This is when you should gather ALL documents that will prove that you are the custodial parent or parent able to claim the children as dependents (ie: birth certificates, school records, medical records, court orders, etc). You will need to mail this return and proof into the IRS (instead of e-filing). The IRS will make a determination based on what you have sent. Your children’s father will also be asked to provide proof at that point.
Please do not hesitate to give our tax team a call if you are still unsure of how to proceed with this process. We will be more than happy to assist you in any way that we can!
So my dad is c laiming me a a dependent allowing me the inability to file taxes. I dont want to get him audited or in trouble but im losing out on about $4k here. ITs asinine and idk what to do besides threaten him with an audit
Hi J. Clark,
Although it would be mighty difficult to fight your parent on being able to claim you as a dependent on his tax return, you can still file taxes for yourself. If you choose to file a tax return, you can report the income you earned and the income that was withheld and even still receive a refund. However, you will need to make sure that you do not claim the personal exemption for yourself. If you do and you filed after your father, then your return will be rejected by the IRS.
I suggest talking over the situation with your parent. Many young adults in your situation can usually negotiate splitting the refund money with their parents once they receive it in the mail or direct deposit.
I did not claim my child because I was living in a different country and not working due to health issues, my mother in law claimed my daughter as she was working last year, I had to send her a letter to give her permission. How can I stop that now that I will be working soon.I don`t want her to claim my child anymore? what can i do?
Typically, a letter created like yours would pertain only to the tax year you indicated. However, I do suggest contacting the IRS to make sure that you do not need to take additional steps so that you can now claim your dependent child again on your tax return.
I need some one to Call me i think my child name is being filed falsefully. Could some one contact me immediately 520 -891-9136 Robert Gaither