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Can i file my daughter as my dependant if my father had filed her as his dependant for 2021 tax year?

my mother prepares my fathers taxes for him every year and she / we decided to go ahead and file my daughter (that lives with me in my apartment all year round and that i take care of nall her exspenses and necessities for) on my fathers taxes for the sole reason of my mother not wanting my father to get into trouble for receiving the dependant tax credit money. which he received because she had stayed with them for a couple months before the pandemic and i was unemployed at the time . my question is since i guess she was filed under my fathers taxes as a dependant am i not allowed to put her as my dependant now? for 2021 tax year?
5 Replies
Level 15

Can i file my daughter as my dependant if my father had filed her as his dependant for 2021 tax year?

@ aurora4420 

I'll ask for some more info to clarify something that may or may not make a difference.   You kept referring to "my father's taxes."   Does that mean that your mother and father file married but separate returns?   Please clarify their filing status. Someone familiar with dependent situations will likely reply here to help you before long.


Also, you appear to be using Live Deluxe.   With that Live product, you are paying extra to have on-demand access to a CPA/EA tax expert, who can help you with return preparation questions and will also review your return, if desired, prior to filing. Live Deluxe is $119 for a Federal return and $54 for a state return.    Is that the product you want to be using?   If so, you can contact a live tax expert on Monday.   See the following info:


FAQ:  What is TurboTax Live?


FAQ:  How to connect with a live tax expert


FAQ:  How do I schedule my review using TurboTax Live?

Level 15

Can i file my daughter as my dependant if my father had filed her as his dependant for 2021 tax year?

your thread is confusing. first, you ask about your daughter as if you are the wife.  then you speak about your father as if you're his daughter not his wife. can't really determine the relations or what you are really asking. clarification and restatement of your questions would be helpful. it's even possible your asking as your parent's daughter who has her own child that was claimed by your father


the following assumes you are your parent's daughter and are asking about yourself as to who can claim you. 


were your mother and father married to each other on 12/31/2021? 

did your parents live apart for the last 6 months of 2021? 

who did you live with for more than 1/2 the year - one or both (use the nights you lived with them)

if you only lived with one for more than 1/2 the year was it your mother or father?

if you only live with one for more than 1/2 the year, did they pay more than 1/2 the cost of keeping up the home where you lived?


are you either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative? the rules are below. if so which? 


You could be claimed as a qualifying child if all these tests are met
• You have the same principal abode as the other party for more than ½ the tax year. Temporary absences like for school are ignored
• If not a full-time student (any part of any 5 months – in a letter ruling the IRS allowed the month the student registered even though classes didn’t start until the next month), you’re under 19 at the end of the tax year. If a full-time student under 24 at end of tax year.
• you haven't provided over ½ your own support
• you didn't file a joint return unless there was no tax liability but merely filing joint to facilitate refund of taxes withheld or estimates paid
Or as you could be a qualifying relative if all these tests are met
You’re related to the other person or, if not, lived with the other party for the entire year and
• your gross income for 2021 less than $4,300
• the other party provided over ½ your support
• you aren't a qualifying child of another taxpayer


the reason for all these questions is that we need to determine if you are a dependent of either and then the proper filing status. 

Level 15

Can i file my daughter as my dependant if my father had filed her as his dependant for 2021 tax year?

regardless of who is who, you can't have two filed 1040s claiming the same dependent.

IRS will have to resolve who is really allowed the dependent in the case where you also claim her.



Level 15

Can i file my daughter as my dependant if my father had filed her as his dependant for 2021 tax year?

@aurora4420 this can be a confusing topic, but let's simplify matters


here is the official IRS link that determines whwther someone is a dependent.  Answer the questions as if you are your father.  See what the answer is....


 Whomever your daughter lived with for more than 6 months is mostly who can claim her as a dependent.  if that is you, then you can claim your daughter and your father needs to amend his tax return to remove your daughter.  He will have to pay back any money he received (and that could be the Recovery Rebate Credit and the Child Tax Credit).   


I don't understand the comment about your father receiving the dependent tax credit money.  Other than, if you were unemployed in a year prior to 2021, you were not eligible for the child tax credit money as it required you to earn at least $1500 to be eligible for the credit, so maybe that is why the child was listed on your father's return (which would be tax fraud if the child was not truly his dependent). 


However, in 2021, and that year only, that was not the case.  You were eligible for the entire child tax credit ($3000 for children 6-17 years old) even if you did not work. 


does that help? 



Level 15

Can i file my daughter as my dependant if my father had filed her as his dependant for 2021 tax year?

Q. .Since she was filed under my fathers taxes as a dependent am I not allowed to put her as my dependent  for 2021 tax year?

A. Yes, it's that simple.  A child (or any person) can not be claimed as a dependent on two different tax returns*.


But the real question is was that the best way to do it.  Probably not. That's why the replies are asking for more detail.  It's possible for your father to file an amended return, allowing you to claim the child. "She had stayed with them for a couple months" does not make her a "qualifying child" dependent.  

There are two types of dependents, "Qualifying Children"(QC) and Other ("Qualifying Relative" in IRS parlance even though they don't have to actually be related). There is no income limit for a QC but there is an age limit, student status, a relationship test and residence test. Only a QC qualifies a taxpayer for the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. They are interrelated but the rules are different for each.

The support test is different for each type. The support test, for a QC, is only that the child didn't provide more than half his own support. The support test for a Qualifying Relative is that the taxpayer provided more than half the relative's support.




*There's a technical exception in the case of divorced, or separated parents, where the tax benefits can be split (but not the actual dependency). But that would not apply in a parent/grandparent situation, like yours.

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