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Can Both Parents Claim A Child on Their 2019 Tax Returns?

Our attorney, Thomas Simeone, was recently interviewed by Romper to find out what happens when both parents claim a child on their taxes after they divorce.

Many divorced couples are concerned about being audited if they make an error on their taxes. Here is what attorney Simeone said about claiming dependents if you have split up:

  • "Legally, only one spouse can claim a child on their tax return. Of course, the one who is not legally permitted can do so accidentally or intentionally, but doing so opens them up to liability for taxes, penalties, and interest, as well as repercussions with the family law court for violating any order that may be in place."

If your ex claimed your child on their taxes and it violates a previous court agreement, they could face various penalties. According to attorney Simeone:

  • "There are two potential repercussions from claiming a child on your taxes when you are not legally able to do so. First, the IRS and state tax authorities may penalize you by collecting the tax you should have paid, as well as penalties and interest. Moreover, if they find that the claiming of the child was intentional, a parent may have committed tax fraud, which can be a criminal offense. Second, if the other parent’s right to claim the child is in a court order – which is very common; either in a judge’s ruling or by the parties’ agreement being incorporated into an order – then claiming a child is a violation of the order."

Have you recently become aware that your ex wrongfully claimed your child on their tax return? If so, attorney Simeone suggests you "immediately notify the family law court to have the other parent file an amended return. This will avoid the IRS noticing that the child is being claimed by both parents and then auditing both parents’ returns.”

Do you need help resolving your legal matter? Call (202) 888-0872 today to schedule your free consultation with Washington, D.C. attorney Thomas Simeone.