I filed my taxes in 2020, but I filed them incorrectly since it was my first tax return and I did not understand a lot of it. I indicated that I could be claimed as a dependent and did not pay for more than half of my expenses, which isn't true. Because of this, I did not receive the recovery rebate credit in 2020. I was going to amend the return today, but it turns out my parents may have claimed me as a dependent, despite me not living with or being financially supported by them that year.
Is there any way I can verify whether or not I was claimed as a dependent before I amend my taxes and lose $60, and what happens if they did claim me?
Ask your parents if they claimed you. If they did, your amended return would be held by the IRS and you and your parents would be given the opportunity to state your cases. You would be filing by mail which takes 6 months or more to process. Then it would take time for the IRS to make their decision. If you truly should not have been claimed by your parents it would be simpler to have them reimburse you for any tax benefit you lost.
@mgzimmer - can you provide a little more information?
were you in school in 2020? how much of the year?
how old were you on Dec 31, 2020?
were you living with your parents in 2020?
how much did you earn in 2020? (over or under $4200 is all that is important),
the answer to those questions will help understand whether they COULD claim you, which is the question you were asked on YOUR tax return (whether your parents actually claimed you or not is immaterial to solving your issue). See @Bsch4477's post - he is spot on.
there is no way to be sure just having your parents give you the money squares things. if they claimed you as a dependent they may have taken other deductions or credits to which they were not entitled.
Thanks for the responses from all of you.
I was in school from January to June; I turned 18 before December 2020; I did not live with my parents but my legal residence was listed as their address since I was living with different friends throughout the year; my taxable income on the tax return was like $8,000.
Living with one of my friends' family was what made me confused about if I could be claimed, since they paid for a lot of my expenses for half of the year.
Unfortunately, they wouldn't have the money to reimburse me if they did claim me, so if that's the case then I just have to consider it lost. An extra $1800 would be nice though.
well, I think you could have been claimed by your parents which means your tax return was completed correctly.
there are a number of test that must be passed for you to be claimed as a dependent. ALL must be passed:
1)Age Test: Under 19 years old (or under 24 and a full-time student) or disabled You pass this one
2)Relationship Test: A bio, step or foster child, or bio, step or half sibling, including their descendants of the taxpayer (meaning your parents) you pass this one
3)Residency Test: Child lived with taxpayer for at least 6 months of the year. since you state your legal address was your parent's home, then there is an arguement that whereever you were living was "temporary" per the IRS definition so you pass this test (if you are living somewhere temporarily, say a college dorm, the IRS sees that as temporarily living away from home, so your permanent home remains your parent's home. If your legal address was your parent;s home and you were temporarily boucing around living with others, your permament home remained your parent's home).
4)Support Test: Child did not provide more than half of their own support - that is a reconcilation of what you paid for versus what your parents paid for. It considere rent/ mortgage, food, utilties, insurance, taxes, insurance, medical costs, etc. It is unlikely you paid more than half and if you didn't pay more than half, you pass this test. the IRS uses the form on page 16 to assess this test https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf
Since all 4 tests were passed (and I assume you are a US citizen with a SS card), you COULD BE a dependent of your parents in 2020 and therefore, you submitted you tax return correctly. No need to amend.
Lastly, it doesn't matter whether or not your parents claimed you. Whether they did is always their option, but from your standpoint the question on the tax return was COULD someone claim you - not DID someone claim you. See the difference? And based on what you stated as it pertains to the test I outlined above, your parents COULD have claimed you.
does this make sense?
Most of it makes sense except the 4th test. I thought I didn't pass, as my parents did not pay for anything - I paid my own rent, health insurance, car insurance, phone, clothing, bills, food, etc with the exception of what my friend's family paid for me. I guess I am still confused.
@mgzimmer Yes, your parents paid alot - by the way the IRS looks at it.
assuming you were a permanent resident of their home and were temporarily living elsewhere, you would need to fill out the form i noted above where you compare your expenses against their expenses.
Let's take a simple example. Say you paid rent (and that was your only living expense - let's keep this simple) somewhere else and $1,000 was your fair share. But the rent on your parent's aparment was $10,000 over the course of the year. If there were 3 people living in your parent's apartment (Mom, Dad, you, even though you were temporarily living elsewhere), that is $3,333 per person. And since $1,000 is less than 50% of $3,333, you did NOT pay more than 50% of your support costs. I appreciate in your eyes you paid "everything" but that is not how the IRS looks at it.
Again, you would have to complete worksheet 2 on Line 16 to determine whether you indeed paid more than 50% of your living expenses. And let's say you amended your return AND your parents did claim you, you are going to have to justify your position with the IRS and completing this form to the best of your ability would be required, I suspect.
Still have questions?Make a post