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Osmanyolcu69
Level 2

Dependent

Good afternoon,

My daughter 8 years old.  My wife and my daughter went to Europe to take care of my mother in law. They have been there for 2 years. I send my wife and my daughter money they need in Europe. There is a question on the TurboTax file platform that "The child lived with you for more than half of the year?" 

Since my daughter's grandmother was sick, they had to travel to Europe with her mother , there for my daughter was not with me more than half of the year. But I sent all the money they needed.  So I couldn't get any stimulus checks for my daughter.  Again if I check the box ""The child did not lived with me for more than half of the year?" ,  on the TurboTax, I don't get benefits for my daughter. Is there any way to get those stimulus check for my daughter.

Thank you!

2 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
NateTheGrEAt
Employee Tax Expert

Dependent

Hi Osmanyolcu69,

Thanks for your question. What filing status have you been using in the years since your wife and daughter moved? I ask because, if you were filing Married Filing Jointly, the daughter would not have to live with you - if she lived with either parent, you could answer "yes" to that question. So I am presuming you are filing Married Filing Separately. Would filing jointly be possible? If so, that might be the easiest solution. 

 

Barring that - this is actually a fairly complex question and does not have one clear, straightforward answer. Let me give you a couple of ideas to explore. 

 

First idea - there is a concept with the IRS known as a "temporary absence". In other words, a person normally lives somewhere, but for a period of time they are elsewhere. For example - they are hospitalized, or they are in college and live in a dorm while at school, or they are in the military and deployed, etc. These are temporary absences that do not change their actual residence. 

 

If your daughter is temporarily absent from your home due to special circumstances, then she still counts as living there for tax purposes.

IRS Pub 17 states the following: "You and your qualifying person are considered to live together even if one or both of you are temporarily absent from your home due to special circumstances, such as illness, education, business, vacation, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility. It must be reasonable to assume the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence."

 

However, there is no specific bright-line test to what is a "temporary absence" or as to how long it can continue. Is 2 years really temporary? Who can say? Recognizing that due to COVID, during the past year or two it has been difficult for people to travel internationally, perhaps it is more reasonable to call 2 years temporary right now, but at some point it starts to look not so temporary. What is the plan for them to eventually return to your home?

So, you could take this position on your tax return by stating that your daughter did live with you for more than half the year. If you have already filed return stating the contrary, you would need to file amended returns. But be aware that by taking this position on your tax return you are taking the risk the IRS could challenge it. It is not cut and dried.

 

Second idea - since you and your wife have been physically apart for over two years, your wife could file Form 8332 to permit you to claim your daughter. This would concede that your wife and daughter didn't live with you (so it would not be compatible with the "temporary absence" concept above) but would allow you to claim her as a dependent anyway. It would allow you to get the Child Tax Credit for her, as well as the stimulus payments. So this might be another way to solve your problem. Also, if your wife will sign the Form 8332 for you, it is a more concrete claim to the credits. There is not the same risk of the IRS coming back to challenge it. 

 

I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to post again if you have additional questions.

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

NateTheGrEAt
Employee Tax Expert

Dependent

Since you are filing jointly, when it asks if the child lived with "you" the "you" means the parents collectively, not just you as an individual.  So, yes, you can say the daughter lived with "you" because she clearly lived with one parent and the two of you are filing a joint return. Either she lived with your wife, or she lived in your home in the US and was temporarily absent - either case, you should be good to go. 

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

4 Replies
NateTheGrEAt
Employee Tax Expert

Dependent

Hi Osmanyolcu69,

Thanks for your question. What filing status have you been using in the years since your wife and daughter moved? I ask because, if you were filing Married Filing Jointly, the daughter would not have to live with you - if she lived with either parent, you could answer "yes" to that question. So I am presuming you are filing Married Filing Separately. Would filing jointly be possible? If so, that might be the easiest solution. 

 

Barring that - this is actually a fairly complex question and does not have one clear, straightforward answer. Let me give you a couple of ideas to explore. 

 

First idea - there is a concept with the IRS known as a "temporary absence". In other words, a person normally lives somewhere, but for a period of time they are elsewhere. For example - they are hospitalized, or they are in college and live in a dorm while at school, or they are in the military and deployed, etc. These are temporary absences that do not change their actual residence. 

 

If your daughter is temporarily absent from your home due to special circumstances, then she still counts as living there for tax purposes.

IRS Pub 17 states the following: "You and your qualifying person are considered to live together even if one or both of you are temporarily absent from your home due to special circumstances, such as illness, education, business, vacation, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility. It must be reasonable to assume the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence."

 

However, there is no specific bright-line test to what is a "temporary absence" or as to how long it can continue. Is 2 years really temporary? Who can say? Recognizing that due to COVID, during the past year or two it has been difficult for people to travel internationally, perhaps it is more reasonable to call 2 years temporary right now, but at some point it starts to look not so temporary. What is the plan for them to eventually return to your home?

So, you could take this position on your tax return by stating that your daughter did live with you for more than half the year. If you have already filed return stating the contrary, you would need to file amended returns. But be aware that by taking this position on your tax return you are taking the risk the IRS could challenge it. It is not cut and dried.

 

Second idea - since you and your wife have been physically apart for over two years, your wife could file Form 8332 to permit you to claim your daughter. This would concede that your wife and daughter didn't live with you (so it would not be compatible with the "temporary absence" concept above) but would allow you to claim her as a dependent anyway. It would allow you to get the Child Tax Credit for her, as well as the stimulus payments. So this might be another way to solve your problem. Also, if your wife will sign the Form 8332 for you, it is a more concrete claim to the credits. There is not the same risk of the IRS coming back to challenge it. 

 

I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to post again if you have additional questions.

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

Osmanyolcu69
Level 2

Dependent

I  am filing Married Filing Jointly. I just got extension to file it. My wife and my daughter have been away for almost 3 years, but as you said, they have not been able to travel due to covid for the last 2 years. They ara coming back next months. What would you recommend for the filling?

 

Thank you for your help!

 
 

 

 
NateTheGrEAt
Employee Tax Expert

Dependent

Since you are filing jointly, when it asks if the child lived with "you" the "you" means the parents collectively, not just you as an individual.  So, yes, you can say the daughter lived with "you" because she clearly lived with one parent and the two of you are filing a joint return. Either she lived with your wife, or she lived in your home in the US and was temporarily absent - either case, you should be good to go. 

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

Osmanyolcu69
Level 2

Dependent

Thank you very much for the answer!

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