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Level 1


Hi, so I’m 21 years old with a 4 year old son. My mother has been claiming my son for the last 4 years, 2 of those years I his mother was working and taking care of him. This year I’m fully capable of claiming him on my taxes. Will the fact that she’s been claiming him for the 4 eats of his life effect my chances of finally claiming him?

4 Replies
Level 15


no problem.

BUT you have to tell your mom not to do that if you will.

maybe she did that already for 2020.

Level 7


As long as your mother does not also attempt to claim him, there will be no issue that you are now claiming him.

Level 15


Each year is separate.   If you were working and filing your own return for 2 years he probably qualified as your dependent and not your mom's dependent.   Do you live with her?

Opus 17
Level 15


You as a biological parent always have first claim to your child as a dependent. Your parent can only claim your child (their grandchild) as dependent if your child lives in your grandparents’ home more than half the nights of the year AND you give permission.


When you were not working, and because there was no stimulus and no enhanced child tax credit in previous years, it probably made financial sense for your parent to claim your child as their dependent.  For 2021, with the recovery rebate (stimulus round three payment), and the enhanced child tax credit, it may now make more financial sense for you to claim your child as a dependent. The only way to know who gets the most benefit from claiming the child would be to prepare multiple tax returns that test each combination.


You should discuss this with your parent before any of you file your 2021 tax returns. Just the fact that you would be claiming your child instead of your parent should not by itself cause any trouble with the IRS.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

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