All Things Tax

All Things Tax

Like the title says, from the filing process and tax questions to tax policy and reform, you can search and share All Things Tax here. This is the place to find answers to all your general questions that don't fall under the other categories. And just a reminder: questions about software or online filing should be posted in DIY Products.

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-13-2018

Federal Return Rejected - dependents ssn already used?

I filed my return today only to receive a message it was rejected because my son's  (dependent) SSN was already in use.  


My ex spouse and I are supposed to switch of claiming one of our 2 children each year. When I tried to re-submit with my other child's SNN/info - thinking she accidentally claimed  the wrong child, it was rejected AGAIN saying my other child's SSN was in use already as well.  


What are my options?  Clearly either she claimed both or someone is filing one of our son's SSNs fraudulently.  How do I proceed with my own taxes?  

Council Member
Posts: 508
Registered: ‎04-06-2016

Re: Federal Return Rejected - dependents ssn already used?

Do an internet search on "filing irs taxes if ex-spouse claimed your dependent".  There are a lot of helpful articles out there,-- you're not alone in your situation.

You'll want to make sure the IRS will consider you the custodial parent, or your divorce decree will have be prior to a certain year to be binding if you would normally be considered the non-custodial parent. If you determine you are the custodial parent and had the right to claim your son, call the IRS and find out what they want you to do.



Associate (Neighbor)
Posts: 212
Registered: ‎07-22-2014

Re: Federal Return Rejected - dependents ssn already used?

Hello sarahkrohn, and welcome to the community.


You have two options - and neither one is as convenient or easy as it would be without the situation you described.  We run into this situation in our office more often than we'd like...because it makes the refund process very slow.


Option 1:  File your return without either of the children listed as a dependent.  Your bottom line will be considerably different than it will be with one of them.  One your return has been accepted as e-filed, prepare an amended return showing your son's information and claiming him as a dependent.  In the section on the 1040X where it asks for a reason for filing the amended return, enter the fact that your son's SSN had already been used on another return, even though he should be only on your return.


Option 2:  Go directly to the paper-file route with your son included on your return.  If you do this, you can expect to receive a letter from the IRS stating that your son's SSN was used on another return.  On their form that shows their proposed adjustments to your return, mark the "I do not agree" box, and send their letter back with a statement that lays out the facts as you presented them to us here on the board.


I would recommend option 1, since that will get part of your refund back to you right away, instead of waiting for the IRS to grind through their entire paper-return process (which usually takes 6-8 weeks at a minimum).


If you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask!