Today TaxMama hears Rozey’s tale of woe, “In May of 2003, my married daughter with a 4 year old son left her husband and moved in with me. During the entire year and a half she lived here with her child, she was lucky if her husband sent a total of $200 for their support the entire year.
My daughter was unable to work and I supported her and her child during 2003 and 2004. Recently I received a notice from the IRS stating that this child’s Social Security number was filed on 2 income tax returns – mine – and someone else’s. I am assuming the 2nd party is my son-in-law (the baby’s father). How can I verify that they both lived here with me, to PROVE to the IRS that I had the right to claim my grandson?”
Your accountant is right. You bet you’re entitled to the exemption if you supported those folks and their deadbeat husband or father didn’t, the exemption is yours. (I wouldn’t normally call him a deadbeat just for being hard up, except that, not only didn’t he support them; but he deliberately took the exemption knowing it would cause you a problem.)
Never mind, you’re going to be able to prove your grandson live with you. Here’s how.
Start with school records. Surely they show his address at your home? A copy of the card showing the contact name and address will be strong proof.
Not updated? All right, contact his doctor or dentists offices/ They ought to have current residence/billing addresses.
Also, dig out letters sent to your daughter that have a postmark early in the year – and one from each month during the year. The consistency of the dates will support that she was living with you.
Incidentally, did your daughter update her drivers license or her voters registration? That will show the address
If all else fails, have your daughter sign a statement to the effect that she and her son lived with you all year and that you provided more than half the support for her son.
Of course you know what happens if you insist that the IRS get proof from his father that his son was living with him? Yup – there isn’t any! You will prevail.
And, remember, you’ll find answers to questions about dependents and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com
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