Last year was my son's last year in college (till May) and he started working in September and filed his own tax return. I did mine at the last minute and I found I could claim him as dependent for the last time, but I got the submission rejected because he filed already didn't indicate someone else claimed.
Is there a remedy to this problem? This applies to both Federal and state.
First----have a meeting of the minds with your son so that you both clearly understand whether he filed incorrectly and if you can claim him as your dependent. You say he finished college --- how old was he at the end of 2020? It matters.
IRS interview to help determine who can be claimed:
For your son:
If it turns out that your son made a mistake and you can claim him as a dependent on your own tax return:
MY DEPENDENT SAID HE COULD NOT BE CLAIMED
Your dependent filed a return without saying he could be claimed on your return and your return was rejected? AFTER his return has been fully processed and he has received his refund, he has to file an amended return that says he can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. Amended returns must be prepared on a Form 1040X— It takes the IRS about six months to process an amended return.
Meanwhile, since your e-filed return has been rejected, you now have to print and mail it in to the IRS. You will not be able to e-file. You do not have to wait for your dependent’s amended return to be processed. Remember that when you mail a return, you need to include copies of your W-2, etc. with your return. Use a mailing service like certified mail that will track it so you will know that the IRS received it.
the only remedy is for both of you to file amended returns. he files first noting he could be claimed as a dependent. then, because the IRS is so far behind in processing returns I would wait a month before filing your amended return. what you don't want to have happen is for the IRS to get to yours first and reject it because it sees your son is still claiming himself. I certainly would included in the explanation of the reason for amending on your return a statement that your son will be filing his own amended return because he could be claimed as a dependent.
before filing the amended returns you both should make sure that there is an actual tax savings because his taxes could go up more than yours goes down.
@Mike9241 OP says her return was rejected----she does not have to amend a rejected return. She has to print sign and mail her original return.