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File an amendment for 2019/2020

Accidentally claim eic for child this year and it’s ex’s turn
2 Replies
Expert Alumni

File an amendment for 2019/2020

If you are the custodial parent, then you are the only parent allowed to claim the earned income credit. You can release the dependency exemption to your ex, but he cannot claim the earned income credit. In this case, you have filed correctly if you listed your child as a nondependent on your return. There is a special IRS rule for divorced or separated parents or parents who live apart for the last 6 months of the calendar year. This special rule allows the child to be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent for purposes of the child tax credit/credit for other dependents, while the custodial parent may claim the dependent care credit and EITC, under the general rules.


If you accidentally claimed your child as a dependent, then you should file an amended return. However, you will still get the earned income credit if you are the custodial parent. You will need to wait until your return has been fully processed and you have received your refund (if applicable) to do so. Please view the amendment instructions in the TurboTax FAQ. 

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Expert Alumni

File an amendment for 2019/2020

Here's how to amend your 2019 return in TurboTax online:


First, make sure that that your 2019 return was accepted in TurboTax Online or paper-filed through the mail. If you are expecting a refund, wait until it arrives.

  1. Sign in to TurboTax.
  2. Scroll down to Your tax return & documents (you may need to select Show), select 2019 and then Amend (change) return.
    • If you only see the option to amend 2018 or earlier, it's because you can't amend an unfiled 2019 return. Instead, just select Pick up where you left off, make your changes, and disregard the rest of these instructions.
  3. Select Amend using TurboTax Online.
  4. Carefully follow the instructions. Don't worry if your refund changes to $0. This is normal on amended returns.
  5. When finished, we'll give you instructions for printing and mailing your amended return as amendments can't be e-filed.

Three weeks after mailing your amended return, you can start tracking it at the IRS Where's My Amended Return? tracking tool.  Please allow at least 16 weeks for the IRS to process your amended return.

Processing times for amended state returns vary from state to state. If it's been more than 12 weeks since you mailed your amended state return, and you haven't heard anything, we suggest you contact your state tax agency.



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