Did the IRS reject your tax return because someone else claimed your dependent?
Claiming a dependent is usually pretty simple: you give the IRS their social security number, certifying that your relationship with that person satisfies a few simple rules.
Things can get more complicated, especially if someone else also claims the same person as a dependent. If they file their return first, the IRS will assume it’s legitimate and award them the full tax benefit of the dependent. When you attempt to e-file your return, it will be rejected.
What can you do then?
The process is fairly straightforward. After your e-filed return has been rejected because someone else claimed the same dependent, you need to file a paper return. You can still prepare your return online. Instead of e-filing, you will need to print it out, sign it, and mail it to the IRS.
With your return, include a cover letter explaining your situation to the IRS as well as evidence proving that you have the right to claim the dependent (ie: medical records, school records, etc.).
The IRS will then review both returns claiming that dependent and determine which person should be claiming the dependent based on tax law. (more…)