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lindseyfo09's avatar

Is it wrong for my parents to claim my son and I on taxes?

Asked by lindseyfo09 (84points) January 14th, 2013

Every year my parents claim me, and now that I have a son they wanna claim both of us. Everytime they claim me, I never see any of the money. We get into a battle every year about all of this. Would I get in trouble if I filed my stuff before they did so I can claim us?

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25 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How old are you, roughly how much do you earn, and do you live with your parents?

bewailknot's avatar

Do you and your son live with your parents? Do they provide more than 50% of food, shelter, clothing for you and your son?

lindseyfo09's avatar

I’m 22 yrs old. And yes I live with them. And they don’t really help out much.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Next question, are you in school and how much do you earn?

lindseyfo09's avatar

I was in school, and goin back soon. And I don’t make anything other then the money from child support.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Technically they can probably claim you if you agree. You could also file your own return, claim you and your child and then fight it out with your parents. Is it worth the strife?

gailcalled's avatar

Do you and your son live rent-free? Do you pay any of the utility bills, any of the home insurance, real estate taxes, food? Do you buy your own clothing? What about a car or transportation?

Who does the laundry, cleaning, mows the lawn, shovels snow, pays for capital improvements (new roof), plumbing bills and all the costs necessary to own a home.

lindseyfo09's avatar

I don’t agree with it at all. All their gonna do is use the money the get for their cruise they are going on and not give any to us. And I’m tryin to file my own taxes claiming us.

chyna's avatar

@lindseyfo09 Did you read what @gailcalled wrote? It costs a lot of money to take care of you and your child and you living with them at 22 with a child wasn’t something they had figured on. They probably had hoped you would go to school and have a career starting up by now. They have their own life and if they want to go on a vacation, they absolutely can. It is their life.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@lindseyfo09 what are you filing taxes for? You only get child support. That is tax free, and I don’t think you are going to get an earned income credit for that.

lindseyfo09's avatar

@chyna I understand how much it costs. But I also don’t think its fair they they are basically taken my money so they can go on with their fun while my son and I are left with nothing at all when I worked for that money. @Imadethisupwithnoforethought, I worked last year so I have stuff comin to me.

filmfann's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought is right. If you file for yourself and your child, you won’t get money from the government, since you didn’t pay taxes in the first place.
Let your parents get that little bit. You cost more than you imagine.

Plus, if you anger them, they could show you the door. Then, you would be totally screwed.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lindseyfo09 If you earned more than $4500 they can’t claim you unless you were a student for more than six months of the year.

lindseyfo09's avatar

@filmfann, I wouldn’t be screwed cuz I’d have places to go,

gailcalled's avatar

@lindseyfo09:The tone you are using is contemptuous and derisive. If you feel so strongly about your parents’s behavior and contribution to your son’s and your health and comfort, move out and support yourself “cuz” you “have places to go.” So, go.

Bellatrix's avatar

As has been said, if you are living in their home rent free and they provide your food and pay the utility bills they are supporting you as a dependent and so can claim any tax deduction. If you pay rent, pay for the utilities you use, provide your own food or at least a goodly portion of these things then no, you should be entitled to claim the deduction.

I agree with @gailcalled and came to say exactly the same after reading your responses. If you want to claim the deduction, pay your way and support your son. Otherwise you are just bludging off your parents.

YARNLADY's avatar

I make it a rule to charge my sons, and now my adult grandsons for their room and board when they move in with me. I also charge them for the extra charges on the automobile insurance and for all the gas and maintenance on the car when they use it. I make them buy their own food using the SNAP program (food stamps).

If you are not doing all these things, you owe your parents bigtime.

gailcalled's avatar

Edit: ...parents’...

wundayatta's avatar

There is no money for you. These taxes are on your parent’s earnings, not your earnings. They are entitled to reduce their taxes to the extent the law allows. This is their money, though. It has nothing to do with you.

If you file your own taxes, then they can no longer claim you as a dependent. This will reduce their tax refund and increase the amount of money they owe the government.

Now it is possible you could claim the EITC, and maybe get a bigger refund if you file on your own, but you’d need to talk to a qualified tax accountant to know that for sure. Before you file, you should check to make sure you will get more money back when filing on your own than your parents do by claiming you as a dependent.

If you don’t get any money back (because you don’t pay taxes and aren’t eligible for the EITC), then your family is better off if you let them claim you as a dependent, even if they don’t share their reduced tax burden with you.

But it doesn’t matter what they do. You can always file your own taxes, and if you take your own standard deduction, then they will have to amend their taxes and pay back any money they may have gotten for having you as a dependent.

But you keep talking about how it isn’t fair. I don’t think you should feel that way. These are taxes your parents pay on their income. It has nothing to do with you. Just because you serve as a deduction does not mean it is your money. It isn’t. It is the taxpayer’s money, and you, it seems, are not a taxpayer.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther, @lindseyfo09.

And when you get out of your parents’ home and have to support yourself and your child in any of the other places you have to go, then welcome to the real world, too. Boy, is the world ever waiting to give you an introduction from which you have been sheltered so well for so long.

It is unfortunate that this rift has developed between you and your parents over this issue. They have probably been guilty for too long of sheltering you – and paying for you! – without any explanation of what they were paying or what they were sheltering you from. That is unfortunate, because the world is not as accommodating as your parents or their (apparently quite lax) rules. But you’ll learn. Oh, boy, will you ever learn.

seekingwolf's avatar

You aren’t entitled to any money because you live with them and they pay for your stuff. You’re still a dependent.

May I be so bold as to say that I think you need to smell the coffee: you’re 22 with a kid. You really should be grateful that they are letting you stay. I feel life would be horrid for you if you didn’t have them.

Sunny2's avatar

There are many excellent answers here. I hope you have the brains to see your true situation and be a bit grateful to your parents, who are essentially supporting you right now. Before you leave, be sure to check that the places you have to go, have room for you and your baby, will feed and clothe you both, and want you to come right now. Otherwise you may be left out in the cold. Then what?

CWOTUS's avatar

I would like to amend and edit my earlier remarks.

Let’s say that at some point you begin to earn an income, a taxable income from which taxes are withheld normally and which means that you need to file an income tax return each year with a hope or expectation to get some money back. After all, that’s the way things happen normally, so let’s suppose that it happens for you too, sooner or later.

But let’s also suppose that you’re still living with your parents and they aren’t demanding that you pay room and board, or split the electricity bill with them, etc. That is, you’re still living there, earning an income, and not having to pay directly for your own share of expenses. Then – even in that case – it would probably still make more sense, in terms of “family income”, for your parents to claim you as dependents. That’s because the deductions from their (presumably quite a bit higher) income will be worth much more to them than the same deductions would be worth to you.

So even in that case the smart wise thing for you to do would be… nothing at all. Continue to be grateful for what they give to you, and don’t begrudge them the little bit (and it is a little bit, believe me; I’ve been in your parents’ shoes before) that this nets them in their tax return. They pay a lot more for your support (whether you realize it or not) than you are probably aware, and the very small benefit that claiming you and your child as dependents is not enough to offset that. So don’t begrudge it to them, but be grateful.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

In one word. No.

Wake up and snort the coffee before life makes you wear it – that is all I’m going to say because everything else I could say would just be hugely insulting.

Cupcake's avatar

You are not entitled to that money as your parents cover housing/food/etc. for you and your child.

I suspect that you will listen to our advice as well as you have heard it from your parents. Perhaps you should visit a tax accountant. Make sure to bring all of your year-end statements and receipts (hint: if you don’t have year-end statements and receipts you have no claim to the tax refund).

If the baby daddy pays child support… then claiming the child on taxes would be between your parents and him.

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