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It appears that someone has falsely claimed me as a dependent on their taxes and I am unable to file or claim my own dependents

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Level 15

It appears that someone has falsely claimed me as a dependent on their taxes and I am unable to file or claim my own dependents

If someone else claimed your exemption inappropriately, and if they file first, your return will be rejected if e-filed. You would then need to file a return on paper, claiming your exemption, and your own dependents, if appropriate. The IRS will process your return and send you your refund, in the normal time. Shortly (up to a year) thereafter, you’ll receive a letter from the IRS, stating that your exemption was claimed on another return. It will tell you that if you made a mistake to file an amended return and if you didn't make a mistake to do nothing. The other party will get the same letter you did. If one of you doesn't file an amended return, unclaiming the exemption, the next letter, from the IRS, will require you to provide proof. Be sure to reply in a timely manner. Winner gets the tax benefits; loser gets to pay the IRS back with penalties and interest.

There is a rule that says IF somebody else CAN claim YOU as a dependent, You are not allowed to claim your own exemption. If you have  sufficient income (usually more than $6300),  you can & should still file taxes, you just don’t get your own $4000 exemption (deduction). In TurboTax, you indicate that somebody else can claim you as a dependent. You also are unable to claim any dependents of your own.

There are two types of dependents, "Qualifying Children"(QC) and other ("Qualifying Relative" in IRS parlance ). There is no income limit for a QC but there is an age limit. 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.

An adult child of a taxpayer can still be a “Qualifying Child” (QC) dependent, regardless of his/her income, if:

1. He is under age 19, or under 24 if a full time student for at least 5 months of the year, or is totally & permanently disabled

2. He did not provide more than 1/2 his own support

3. He lived with the parent (including temporary absences such as away at school) for more than half the year

If the potential dependent doesn't meet the QC rules, then he must have less than $4000 taxable income to be claimed.

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