My sister-in-law took the kids back. Which one of us can claim them?

October 01, 2014 by Dave Du Val, EA
Little boy blowing bubbles

Hey Dave,

I took care of my three nieces and a nephew (all under 17 years of age) up until the end of last month, August 28, 2014, to be exact. I claimed these kids on my taxes last year. Can I claim them again for this year now that my sister-in-law (their mother) has taken them back?

Vivien

 

Vivien,

It is likely you can claim them. If the four children spent over half the year with you (defined as where they spent the greatest number of nights), they would be considered your dependents for the 2014 tax year, assuming all the other dependency tests are met and your sister-in-law did not live with you and the children.

Be sure, however, to retain all of the records supporting the fact that the children spent the majority of the year under your roof, because if their mother claims them it is likely the presumption will be in her favor.

Click here for more information on the tests to claim someone as a “Qualifying Child.”

Deductibly Yours,

Dave

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David E. Du Val, EA
Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco

 

Dave Du Val, EA, is Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco. Inc., the parent company of TaxAudit, and Centenal Tax Group. A nationally recognized speaker and educator, Dave is well known for his high energy and dynamic presentation style. He is a frequent and popular guest speaker for the California Society of Tax Consultants, the California Society of Enrolled Agents and the National Association of Tax Professionals. Dave frequently contributes tax tips and information to news publications, including US News and World Report, USA Today, and CPA Practice Advisor. Dave is an Enrolled Agent who has prepared thousands of returns during his career and has trained and mentored hundreds of tax professionals. He is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the California Society of Enrolled Agents. Dave also holds a Master of Arts in Education and has been educating people since 1972. 


 

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