Divorced or Single and Have Children Living With You?

Published: 5/5/2018 5:44:00 PM

One of the biggest complaints I get during tax season is from custodial parents who have not claimed their children in past years, because the noncustodial parent efiled and claimed the children first. These parents have been told by other tax preparers that there is nothing that can be done since the children have already been claimed.

We specialize in helping such parents and have helped several of these parents get the credits, deductions, and refunds they deserve. In most cases we also have to correct the custodial parent's filing status from single to head-of-household. When we get an electronic filing rejection stating that a child has been claimed on another return, we sit down with the parent, explain to them their options, and let them decide what to do.

Two of the main inconvienences of making this correction are:

  1. The return has to be paper filed.
  2. The parent will have to wait 6 to 8 weeks for their refund.

With the proper documentation, the custodial parent will receive their refund. If the IRS determines that dependents were mistakenly claimed on another tax return, any refunds issued on that return are collected back from that taxpayer. In addition the IRS will charge interest and penalties.

Many taxpayers are not aware of the option to fix such problems with non-custodial parents. At the time of this writing custodial parents can also correct and claim eligible dependents for years 2012-2014 by filing a form 1040X. Any questions can be directed to this office by calling (719) 336-8739.