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For all you tax pros out there, I need your help!

I got a letter from the IRS saying that an SSN I used on my tax have already been claimed as an exemption on someone else's return. After a simple check, it belongs to my 18 year old son! And furthermore, due to a privacy and security law, they won't divulge the name of the person who did this! The presumption from the letter is I must have made a mistake, and I should file an amended tax for 2005 -- this this crazy or what? The thing that is driving me crazy is that someone likely made a keying error, and this can be cleared up in two seconds. The only thing I am holding out for is that whoever made the mistake has gotten the same letter as me, and that person is planning to file an amended return.

By the way, I checked my son's return, and he did NOT claim himself, so that can't be the reason. HELP!, the IRS is driving me crazy.

Member Summary
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Technologist said: <blockquote><hr>I read it before that an extension DECREASES your chance for an audit..... now I have... (more)

luvdoublebrats (Dec. 11, 2006 @ 3:07p) |

luvdoublebrats said: <blockquote><hr>jswede4722 said: <blockquote><hr>Filing an extension just coats the IRS pockets. If... (more)

jayK (Dec. 11, 2006 @ 3:07p) |

just in case it wasn't ur ex-wife, u said ur son is 18, do u have any other children? they may have put ur son down beca... (more)

TheWiseGuy (Dec. 11, 2006 @ 3:54p) |

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luvdoublebrats said: [Q]
By the way, I checked my son's return, and he did NOT claim himself, so that can't be the reason. HELP!, the IRS is driving me crazy.

If your son filed an individual 1040 or 1040EZ tax return showing he was self supporting (showing he provided more than half of his support), you can not claim him as a dependent. You will have to amend your return.

jswede4722 said: [Q]luvdoublebrats said: [Q]
By the way, I checked my son's return, and he did NOT claim himself, so that can't be the reason. HELP!, the IRS is driving me crazy.If your son filed an individual 1040 or 1040EZ tax return, you can not claim him as a dependent. You will have to amend your return.Incorrect. If his son did not claim an exemption for himself, dad most certainly can take the exemption.

luvdoublebrats - What did the IRS say when you called them?

dcwilbur said: [Q]jswede4722 said: [Q]luvdoublebrats said: [Q]
By the way, I checked my son's return, and he did NOT claim himself, so that can't be the reason. HELP!, the IRS is driving me crazy.If your son filed an individual 1040 or 1040EZ tax return, you can not claim him as a dependent. You will have to amend your return.Incorrect. If his son did not claim an exemption for himself, dad most certainly can take the exemption.

luvdoublebrats - What did the IRS say when you called them?\\

I know, I realized what I wrote and corrected it.

jswede4722 said: [Q]If your son filed an individual 1040 or 1040EZ tax return showing he was self supporting (showing he provided more than half of his support), you can not claim him as a dependent. You will have to amend your return.Really, there is no place on the tax return to indicate that "he provided more than half of his support". He either checked the exemption box or he didn't.

When we put the wrong ss# for our son, the IRS did not say that someone else is using it. They checked the number against the name with some bureau and told us that was not his number.

I wonder if an illegal alien assumed his ss# to keep their job and pay taxes. This is very common where a ss# number will pull up 2 different names with two different tax records. My husband encountered one earlier this year and fired the guy.

dcwilbur said: [Q]jswede4722 said: [Q]If your son filed an individual 1040 or 1040EZ tax return showing he was self supporting (showing he provided more than half of his support), you can not claim him as a dependent. You will have to amend your return.Really, there is no place on the tax return to indicate that "he provided more than half of his support". He either checked the exemption box or he didn't.

I have been filing out tax forms for 11 years. I know this. The point is that the kid can't claim $20k and expect the IRS to believe that his parents are still supporting him.

Is there someone else who may have this information that could be viewed as being able to claim him, in some remote sense? Like, are you divorced from his mother? If that is the case, ask her.

In any event, just write them a letter indicating that you are claiming your son as you legally can do so. Indicate that you provided for him and that he did not claim himself, therefore, it is not your mistake. It seems reasonable. Honestly, I have dealt with the IRS on three occasions, and I am only 26. They have never once been unreasonable. I am sure they can be crazy if it seems like you have been doing something illegal. If there are multiple claims to the same SSN, I am sure they probably send this same notice to everyone who made the claim... they didn't try to figure it and send to the side they considered the offender. Just call them up to get a rapport going with a representative and tell them of your situation. They will advise you to provide some documentation, and this is your opportunity to submit your letter. They will be reasonable if you are timely (and many times even if you are not) and you are courteous.

dcwilbur said: [Q]jswede4722 said: [Q]luvdoublebrats said: [Q]
By the way, I checked my son's return, and he did NOT claim himself, so that can't be the reason. HELP!, the IRS is driving me crazy.If your son filed an individual 1040 or 1040EZ tax return, you can not claim him as a dependent. You will have to amend your return.Incorrect. If his son did not claim an exemption for himself, dad most certainly can take the exemption.

luvdoublebrats - What did the IRS say when you called them?


I just got off the phone with IRS. They told me they cannot tell me who the other party that used my son's SSN. The agent was actually very nice, and said if I am entitled to claim him, I don't have to do anything at this time. Of course, I am very skeptical about doing nothing when I get a nastygram from the IRS. So, I asked him, so I do nothing, and then what happens if the IRS thinks I should have done something ( that is, they still think I should not have used him) am I going to get audited? He assured me that if that happens, I will be sent a lettter and be asked to provide documentation that I should be entitled to claim him. So, my blood pressue is no longer boiling. Thanks for your reply by the way.

Dus10 said: [Q]...If there are multiple claims to the same SSN, I am sure they probably send this same notice to everyone who made the claim... ..

Actually, of all the divorced people I know, when both try to claim the same child, the one who got their return in first, didn't get the letter.

Post in the tax questions sticky at the top of this forum.... Stop topic littering =)

Dus10 said: [Q]Is there someone else who may have this information that could be viewed as being able to claim him, in some remote sense? Like, are you divorced from his mother? If that is the case, ask her.

Funny you should ask! You would make a good detective. I was going to leave my family dirt out of this. But, you are aboslutely correct, we have a divorce from his mother. We're hardly on speaking terms. We have a case file so thick, you can't even shut the drawer! Another story altogether.

So, I sent her an email asking her if she used my son's SSN. Now, I know that she's not that stupid, and would never do this. According to the divorce decree, it's spelled out very clearly. But of course, you never know what spiteful people do. She might have done this just to get my attention, some people refuse to be dismissed. There's a 50/50 chance that she will ignore my email, so I may never know.

Derffie said: [Q]Post in the tax questions sticky at the top of this forum.... Stop topic littering =)


oops! sorry for the littering, how do I post the sticky...

99% chance it's your wife, divorces are usually ugly...

gatzdon said: [Q]Dus10 said: [Q]...If there are multiple claims to the same SSN, I am sure they probably send this same notice to everyone who made the claim... ..

Actually, of all the divorced people I know, when both try to claim the same child, the one who got their return in first, didn't get the letter.

This is very possibly the situation. She is famous for filing her taxes ASAP -- she squeals in delight when she gets a refund..duh.. doesn't she know that simply means the IRS got to use her money? I, on the other hand is famous for filing an extension. When I used to work on personal income taxes, the chief dog told me that I can reduce my chances of getting audited if I file an extension.. just the opposite of what most people would think. He told me an interesting reason why, if you care to know, ask me, and I would be happy to share.

luvdoublebrats said: [Q]...He assured me that if that happens, I will be sent a lettter and be asked to provide documentation that I should be entitled to claim him. ....

Don't wait until you get that letter.

Get the instructions now of the IRS's website. Look up the requirements for being able to claim your son. Start gathering the supporting evidence for each and every one of the requirements listed. When you respond, keep it short and sweet. Reference the publication/instruction you used, list each requirement and reference your attached evidence for each requirement. Use a table so it is very easy to follow.

Good Luck.

Filing an extension just coats the IRS pockets. If you do everything above board, why are you worrying about an audit?

Hmmmm....

luvdoublebrats said: [Q]When I used to work on personal income taxes, the chief dog told me that I can reduce my chances of getting audited if I file an extension.. just the opposite of what most people would think. He told me an interesting reason why, if you care to know, ask me, and I would be happy to share.please share

I got the same letter and had to file an x 1040; the reason being was that my dependent(my mother-in-law who lives with us)made over the allowable limit which i believe is $3000;we had claimed her as a dependent but did not realize she made over the $3000 limit until after we filed. that being the case she then filed a return to get back the taxes she paid into the system;Note: she actually made below the limit (around $7200)required by law for her to file a return but would not of got back the taxes she putin unless she did;

SUCKISSTAPLES said: [Q]luvdoublebrats said: [Q]When I used to work on personal income taxes, the chief dog told me that I can reduce my chances of getting audited if I file an extension.. just the opposite of what most people would think. He told me an interesting reason why, if you care to know, ask me, and I would be happy to share.please share

That doesn't seem like information that people on FWF would not want... I am anxious... do tell.

Dus10 said: [Q]SUCKISSTAPLES said: [Q]luvdoublebrats said: [Q]When I used to work on personal income taxes, the chief dog told me that I can reduce my chances of getting audited if I file an extension.. just the opposite of what most people would think. He told me an interesting reason why, if you care to know, ask me, and I would be happy to share.please share

That doesn't seem like information that people on FWF would not want... I am anxious... do tell.
OK, Please share.

luvdoublebrats said: [Q]According to the divorce decree, it's spelled out very clearly.

I just went through this for 13 years. Read the instructions for the 1040 -- to claim a son/daughter, you need to attach either a form signed by your ex, agreeing that you can claim the child, or copies of the relevant pages of your divorce decree showing that you can claim the child.

I, too, did not want to talk to my ex, so I always attached a couple of pages copied from my divorce decree, and never had a problem.

To be proactive on this, I would go ahead and send the IRS a copy of the relevant portion of your divorce decree.

Regardless of what the IRS tells you over the phone, get any statements in writing. What that CSR said does not penalize them or the IRS if it is wrong, it only penalizes you.

jswede4722 said: [Q]The point is that the kid can't claim $20k and expect the IRS to believe that his parents are still supporting him.Yes, he can; that figure wont be a problem.

luvdoublebrats said: [Q]He told me an interesting reason why, if you care to know, ask me, and I would be happy to share.

Please do share.

I read it before that an extension DECREASES your chance for an audit..... now I have to find the info!

in a nutshell, IRS has so many audits the can physically do per year. Also, the earlier you file, the lees "people in the pool" for them to pick from, so chances are higher you will chosen.

Bad example below (all numbers are assumptions ONLY, not actual IRS Figures):

IRS randomly picks one return a day to audit...

Jan 1, 100 returns submitted, 1 in 100 of being chosen.
Jan 2, 1,000 returns submitted, 1 in 1,000 of being chosen.
Jan 3, 10,000 returns submitted, 1 in 10,000 of being chosen.
Jan 4, 100,000 returns submitted, 1 in 100,000 of being chosen.
Jan 5, 1,000,000 returns submitted, 1 in 1,000,000 of being chosen.
...
April 15, 100,000,000 returns submitted, 1 in 100,000,000 of being chosen.

Also, AFTER deadline of the 15th, they can only audit 1 per week, instead of 1 per day.... so chances diminish to 20% of highest "chance" above

Of course, errors flag your return, as well as missing the deadline WITHOUT an extension... these are the things that will throw all the calculations out the window..... and move you to the front of the "probable to get audited" list...

Also.... Many IRS examinations are selected before you file, and many IRS agents are reassigned for training or other duties after the tax-filing season crunch ends on April 15. Most sophisticated taxpayers and wealthy individuals always file close to the last possible day after the extension is due Oct. 15th.

I got the letter like this too. I claim an excemption for myself and my mom claims me a dependent.

jswede4722 said: [Q]Filing an extension just coats the IRS pockets. If you do everything above board, why are you worrying about an audit?

Hmmmm....

The best prevention is avoidance in my book!. How does filing an extension coat the IRS's pocket? I always pay what I owe with my extension.

Technologist said: [Q]I read it before that an extension DECREASES your chance for an audit..... now I have to find the info!

in a nutshell, IRS has so many audits the can physically do per year. Also, the earlier you file, the lees "people in the pool" for them to pick from, so chances are higher you will chosen.

Bad example below (all numbers are assumptions ONLY, not actual IRS Figures):

IRS randomly picks one return a day to audit...

Jan 1, 100 returns submitted, 1 in 100 of being chosen.
Jan 2, 1,000 returns submitted, 1 in 1,000 of being chosen.
Jan 3, 10,000 returns submitted, 1 in 10,000 of being chosen.
Jan 4, 100,000 returns submitted, 1 in 100,000 of being chosen.
Jan 5, 1,000,000 returns submitted, 1 in 1,000,000 of being chosen.
...
April 15, 100,000,000 returns submitted, 1 in 100,000,000 of being chosen.

Also, AFTER deadline of the 15th, they can only audit 1 per week, instead of 1 per day.... so chances diminish to 20% of highest "chance" above

Of course, errors flag your return, as well as missing the deadline WITHOUT an extension... these are the things that will throw all the calculations out the window..... and move you to the front of the "probable to get audited" list...

That is exactly what the top dog told me. He said all the audits have been assigned, and the agents calendars are full. The chances of you getting audited go down dramatically. Now, he always told his clients this when they complanined that he filed yet another extension for them. Now, I know this was self-serving, but I always thought this made alot of sense.

luvdoublebrats said: [Q]jswede4722 said: [Q]Filing an extension just coats the IRS pockets. If you do everything above board, why are you worrying about an audit?

Hmmmm....

The best prevention is avoidance in my book!. How does filing an extension coat the IRS's pocket? I always pay what I owe with my extension.Filing an extension coats the IRS's pocket with teflon, so any cash put in the pocket won't stick.

just in case it wasn't ur ex-wife, u said ur son is 18, do u have any other children? they may have put ur son down because of recent changes in the tax law last year.



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