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Level 1

Can my ex claim me and our children if I have already filed?

My children's dad and I seperated 6 months ago. I moved to a new state with the kids. I have already filed my taxes and claimed both children. He has not paid a single penny in support or provided anything for them since we moved six months ago. Even when we were together He did not solely support them. He knows where we are and how to get in touch, so no excuses. We have no court documents as of now, I will be getting it all filed very soon and begin the custody and support process, through my state. He is now telling me that he is going to claim the kids and me and wants me to send him their social security numbers. He said he has mine and plans to use it. Since I have already filed, it's been accepted and my refund is pending, if he attempts to use our #s, will it mess anything up on my end? Also, does anyone know if I can legally have anything done if he does fraudulently use my social security number for tax purposes?

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Level 12

Can my ex claim me and our children if I have already filed?

Please allow me to answer these questions one at a time:

1.  Can it mess up things on your end?  It depends. Good news for you is that your return is accepted electronically,   This certainly will make for less of a complication on your end.  He can still file the information, but only if he does so on paper and mails it in.  He will have to forge your signature and then prove that you and the children lived together with him the entire year.  He won't be able to prove all of those things.  Now, if you and he were married, you could have the complication of proving that you lived apart for at least 6 months and one day (separated before July 1).  If you can't, your filing status will be changed to Married Filing Separately.  You won't lose your kids as dependents, but you will lose Earned Income Credit if that happens.  (Side note:  this is the legal way you would have had to file.  If you were still legally married on December 31 and weren't apart more than the last 6 months, you are not entitled to file Head of Household).  If you were unmarried, however, there is not much of a claim he can have.  All you need to show is that you lived apart or that you had more than $4050 of income.  He loses the claim.  

2.  Is there anything legally you can do on your end?  From a tax standpoint, yes.  You can report your concern of potential tax identity theft and fraud to the IRS.  They can assist you in getting a Tax Identity Protection PIN (an IPPIN) to make it virtually impossible for him or anyone else to use your tax information for a fraudulent return.  For additional information on this, please see this link:  Identity Protection | Internal Revenue Service - IRS.gov

For additional legal steps you would need to speak with an attorney.

1 Reply
Level 12

Can my ex claim me and our children if I have already filed?

Please allow me to answer these questions one at a time:

1.  Can it mess up things on your end?  It depends. Good news for you is that your return is accepted electronically,   This certainly will make for less of a complication on your end.  He can still file the information, but only if he does so on paper and mails it in.  He will have to forge your signature and then prove that you and the children lived together with him the entire year.  He won't be able to prove all of those things.  Now, if you and he were married, you could have the complication of proving that you lived apart for at least 6 months and one day (separated before July 1).  If you can't, your filing status will be changed to Married Filing Separately.  You won't lose your kids as dependents, but you will lose Earned Income Credit if that happens.  (Side note:  this is the legal way you would have had to file.  If you were still legally married on December 31 and weren't apart more than the last 6 months, you are not entitled to file Head of Household).  If you were unmarried, however, there is not much of a claim he can have.  All you need to show is that you lived apart or that you had more than $4050 of income.  He loses the claim.  

2.  Is there anything legally you can do on your end?  From a tax standpoint, yes.  You can report your concern of potential tax identity theft and fraud to the IRS.  They can assist you in getting a Tax Identity Protection PIN (an IPPIN) to make it virtually impossible for him or anyone else to use your tax information for a fraudulent return.  For additional information on this, please see this link:  Identity Protection | Internal Revenue Service - IRS.gov

For additional legal steps you would need to speak with an attorney.