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Multi year ammendments with large refunds

I have recently discovered that due to a court order, I have been able to claim my children since my divorce, yet have never done so.  This goes back 8 years; but I'm only amending the last 3.  These credits add up! The question is - if I'm using TurboTax and bring up my taxes for each year, do I simply amend each year individually - or do I need to  amend 2016, wait for refund, import that accepted return into TurboTax 2017, then amend 2017, wait for refund, import that into 2018, then amend 2018, etc.

 

OR - can I simply amend each year as filed (bring up filed taxes, add claims for the children, print amendment)?  Will I be hit this next year with taxes on this "income"?

 

Seems complex if I need to amend last three years based on previous years amended taxes when trying to file all 3 years amendments at same time. 

Hope the above makes sense...

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Multi year ammendments with large refunds


@T-Fischer wrote:

 

OR - can I simply amend each year as filed (bring up filed taxes, add claims for the children, print amendment)?  Will I be hit this next year with taxes on this "income"?

 


Yes, that is the only way - each year separately.   And a refund is NOT taxable income.

 

Beware though, that a court order does not override Federal tax law.  You cannot claim a child unless you qualify under Federal tax law reguardless of any court order.    You can only claim the EIC, and child care credit if the child actually physically lived with you more than half of each tax year and the child care credit have additional requirements even if the child did live with you.

 

Further, if you are not the custodial parent then you still need to attach a release of custody form (8332) signed by the custodial parent to the tax return.   

 

You can only amend the 3 prior years for a refund.  Each amended return must be mailed is a separate envelope - if mailed together it is likely that only one will be processed.

 

Amended returns can only be mailed. It is suggested that it be mailed certified with return receipt (or other tracking service) to verify that the IRS receives it.

See this TurboTax FAQ for detailed amend instructions:
https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1894381-how-to-amend-change-or-correct-a-return-you-already-filed


You can check the status of the amended return here, but allow 3 weeks after mailing.

https://www.irs.gov/filing/wheres-my-amended-return
**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**

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7 Replies

Multi year ammendments with large refunds


@T-Fischer wrote:

 

OR - can I simply amend each year as filed (bring up filed taxes, add claims for the children, print amendment)?  Will I be hit this next year with taxes on this "income"?

 


Yes, that is the only way - each year separately.   And a refund is NOT taxable income.

 

Beware though, that a court order does not override Federal tax law.  You cannot claim a child unless you qualify under Federal tax law reguardless of any court order.    You can only claim the EIC, and child care credit if the child actually physically lived with you more than half of each tax year and the child care credit have additional requirements even if the child did live with you.

 

Further, if you are not the custodial parent then you still need to attach a release of custody form (8332) signed by the custodial parent to the tax return.   

 

You can only amend the 3 prior years for a refund.  Each amended return must be mailed is a separate envelope - if mailed together it is likely that only one will be processed.

 

Amended returns can only be mailed. It is suggested that it be mailed certified with return receipt (or other tracking service) to verify that the IRS receives it.

See this TurboTax FAQ for detailed amend instructions:
https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1894381-how-to-amend-change-or-correct-a-return-you-already-filed


You can check the status of the amended return here, but allow 3 weeks after mailing.

https://www.irs.gov/filing/wheres-my-amended-return
**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**

Multi year ammendments with large refunds

Each tax year must be amended individually and you can mail them in at the same time HOWEVER they must be mailed in SEPARATE envelopes. 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Multi year ammendments with large refunds

did your ex claim them?    if he was the custodial parent, there is no way to force him to give you the required 8332's except to go back to court.   

Multi year ammendments with large refunds

This is excellent - thank you!

 

The court order was actually from when I got divorced.  We had a verbal agreement that my ex would claim all three so she could use that money to help her out and I never looked back on what the court finalized - so this is due to my oversight.  Problem is, she never did that once and never told me that she wasn't claiming all of them.  It wasn't until two days ago (after 8 years) that she needed info from me and it came out that I should have been claiming my girls (three split every other year).  I have 50% custody.

 

I'm a bit irritated over the loss of 5 years of claims as that *really* added up to a lot of money.  I was just as irritated that she hadn't been claiming them as she simply threw away that money for herself and my girls. Oh well - glad to hear this is a fairly easy process made extremely easy by the fact that I've been using TurboTax all these years and amendments took about 10 minutes to do for each year.

Multi year ammendments with large refunds

Thank you!

Multi year ammendments with large refunds

She did not claim them and I have always had 50% custody.  This was simply a forehead-slap for me...

Multi year ammendments with large refunds


@T-Fischer wrote:

I have 50% custody.

 

There is no such thing in the Federal tax law as 50/50, split, or joint custody. The IRS only recognizes physical custody (which parent the child lived with the greater part, but over half, of the tax year. That parent is the custodial parent; the other parent is the noncustodial parent.)

 

Who can claim the exemption and credits depends on who is the custodial parent. (By the IRS definition of custodial parent for tax purposes - this is not the same as the legal custody that a court might grant.).

The test that the IRS uses to determine the custodial parent is where the child lived for more than 1/2 (or greater part) of the year. The IRS will go so far as to require counting the nights spend in each household - that person is the custodial parent for tax purposes (if exactly equal and more than 183 days - The custodial parent is the parent with the highest AGI, if less than 183 days then neither parent has custody so the child cannot be claimed by either parent). And yes they are that picky.

 

See Custodial parent and noncustodial parent in Pub 501

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p501#en_US_2018_publink1000220906

Only the Custodial parent can claim: (Child would be listed as non-dependent EIC & CC only)
-Head of Household
-The Earned Income Credit
-The Child and Dependent Care Credit
-The Health Coverage Tax Credit

 

The non custodial parent can only claim: (Child would be listed as dependent)
- The child as a dependent
- The Child Tax Credit or credit for other dependents

 

But only if specifically specified in a pre-2009 divorce decree, separation agreement or the custodial spouse releases the exemption with a signed 8332 form - after 2009 the IRS only accepts a signed 8332 form that must be attached to the non-custodial parents tax return.

**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
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