Your Life

Your Life

Major life milestones often have a major tax impact. Changes in your marital status, having a baby or adopting a child can have significant impact on your taxes. This is the place to ask questions about dependents, real estate, and other various scenarios that play a significant role in what taxes you pay.

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Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-08-2017

Failure to File

My ex has never filed taxes. For the past 12 years I have claimed all 3 of our kids on my taxes. We were never married and he never paid child support, but there was a court order stating that we were allowed to claim them on alternating years. He has now been court ordered to file his taxes. I was told at some point that he could not claim them, despite the court order because he was so far behind on child support. We live in WI, if that matters. My question is 2 fold. 1) Is that true that he could not have claimed them due to the back support? 2) If he does go back and file all of those years of returns, will the IRS say I was fraudulently claiming them and make me pay back all the child tax credits and EIC that I received?

Tax Pro
Posts: 6,070
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Failure to File

Hi L_F_P2,

 

 

Welcome to the H&R Block community.

 

So there are a couple of things here and it is pretty much good news.

 

If the court order was issued after December 31, 2008 then it doesn't matter.  The tax law has the final say.  So if you are the custodial parent, meaning that the kids lived with you for more nights during the year than anyone else and for at least half of the year, then the only way he would be able to claim the kids is if you were to provide him with a signed copy of Form 8332 releasing their exemptions to him.

 

If the court order was issued before December 31, 2008 then he could attach certain pages of the order to his tax return and claim the kids under normal circumstances, but I don't see that happening in your situation.  Not only that, for most of his back tax returns he wouldn't be able to get anything out of taking credits because you can only get a refund for the three most recent years.

 

I would make sure that you keep records showing that the kids lived with you, that you provide for them, etc.  That way if a question is ever asked you'll have something to show.  School records and doctor's office records are great for proving residence.

 

As long as you met the requirements to claim the EIC and the child tax credit and you were the custodial parent you will not have to repay anything.

 

 

If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.

 

Louis,

Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)

Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-08-2017

Re: Failure to File

Is it true that he would not have been able to claim them anyways due to his large child support debt? It was explained to me that you can not use your kids to pay off your child support.