Tax Question: Is DH's mom making a huge mistake? (Claiming a child over 18)

posted 3 years ago in Money
  • poll: What are your thoughts?
    DH's mom is making a huge mistake, she cannot claim her 20 year old daughter : (18 votes)
    39 %
    DH's mom can possibly claim her 20 year old daughter in the following circumstance (list below) : (8 votes)
    17 %
    DH's sister should contact the IRS : (3 votes)
    7 %
    DH's sister should be fine, she did nothing wrong : (12 votes)
    26 %
    I have no idea, but tax season sucks! : (5 votes)
    11 %
  • Post # 4
    Hostess
    7630 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2013

    Maybe she could claim her since she was 19 at some point during the 2013 tax year. 

    Still, I wouldn’t worry about it since your MIL should take care of her own taxes. She’s already filed so she’ll just have to wait and see what comes back. 

    Post # 6
    Member
    2272 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California

    I’m certainly not a tax professional, but I’m pretty sure my mom claimed me til I was about 21-ish & I’m also pretty sure I was making more than 13K at the time.  With that said though, I never claimed myself at the same time that my mom claimed me.

    I hope DH’s sister doesn’t get penalized for this & hopefully since she filed first then she’ll get the ‘right-a-way’!

    ETA: That I was a full-time student during that time & livng on my own since I was 20 (aka financially independent) if it makes a difference.  I just didn’t know better yet to file myself or the reality of how much I would actually get haha.

    Post # 7
    Hostess
    3787 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    @bmo88:  I’m positive my dad had the kajones to claim me one year in grad school when there was no at all legit reason for him to even remotely justify it. (I was a full time college student, but fully 100% financially independent and did not live in his house.. Maybe didn’t even live on the same continent.) To say I was annoyed was a massive understatement. I went ahead and filed my taxes properly and got the proper refund. 

     

    They didn’t catch it on my dad’s. But I know that if they wanted to audit, it would be pretty clear he made the “mistake” and I didn’t. 

     

    I love my dad dearly and he was a great dad. But I was not about to lose my tax refund because my dad wanted extra or was trying to use a questionable grey area in the system. 

     

     

     

    If I were you, I’d let it go. She’s an adult and can face the consequences if she gets slapped with an audit or penalty. However, if she’s making as little as you suggest she is, it’s possible none of it matters because she doesn’t actually pay taxes. 

     

    Post # 9
    Member
    3598 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    If the sister filed hers properly, I don’t think she’ll get penalized for something her mother did.  

    Post # 10
    Member
    1103 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    I don’t see them penalizing the sister. She did her taxes right. It’s the Mom who did not, it’s on her. 

    Post # 12
    Member
    942 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @bmo88:  I posted but then decided to PM you instead due to its personal nature.

    Post # 13
    Member
    3394 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    @bmo88:  I was told by an IRS employee (when I called because of an issue with my return one year) that they do not check every single return. They random select a certain number and thoroughly check them out. It very may well happen that both may go through this year. But one day, when one of them gets audited…then will come a huge problem with interest attached to it. So tell her good luck with that.

    One the other hand, they may catch it now…my Mom had custody of myself and my sister growing up. One year my Dad’s accountant convinced him that he should be able to claim one of us (which is insane because my Mom had full custody), so he did. Then they both ended up answering a lot of IRS questions when it was discovered that they had both claimed the same child.

    One thing you do not want to mess with…the IRS. It’s just plain dumb.

    Post # 14
    Member
    304 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    My mom did something similar to this– Claimed my sister with no right…she had already claimed herself. My mom’s taxes got a “hold” on them and then she got audited. Long story short, she didn’t get the tax credit. In theory you can only be claimed once per tax year so it should get flagged, but who knows

     

    Post # 15
    Member
    1068 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    @bmo88:  Tax semi-professional here.  A 20 year old who is not a full time student DOES NOT QUALIFY for EIC.  Do not screw around with the EIC.  People who get big EIC refunds are audited more often than people who don’t, and they will disallow the credit in the future if you claim it fraudulently.  The penalty for a simple mistake can be 2 years of disallowance, but the can take away your EIC for up to 10 years if they determine you intentionally committed fraud.

    Your MIL needs to go get her return amended so that she doesn’t get reamed if she’s audited.  She should not use that check cashing place for it.  Assuming her income is low, she should go to a VITA site or a low-income tax clinic, and they can file an amended return.  It should be a pretty quick process.  Seriously, VITA, amended return.  Do it.

    Your SIL doesn’t sound like she did anything incorrectly and should be fine.

    Post # 16
    Hostess
    3787 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    @bmo88:  Right. But your sister didn’t break any rules. She would not be penalized. 

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