What if the other parent claims our kids for taxes when I am supposed to claim them?

Sometimes parents spend a lot of time inside and outside of court fighting about who gets to claim the kids for income tax purposes.  Claiming one or more kids for tax purposes often brings a welcomed tax refund that can be used to pay down bills.  The process can bring some real financial relief for the family.

If there is no court order saying who gets to claim the kids for taxes, the parents are left to federal law to lay out how the process works for that family.  But there are times where a court Order specifically says which parent claims the kids for taxes that does not get followed.  Minnesota Statute Section 518A.38, subdivision 7 lays out what happens in those situations.  It says:

When a party has claimed an income tax dependency exemption in violation of a court order or applicable law, or has failed or refused to provide a properly executed written declaration that releases the party’s claim to a child as a dependent to the other party as required by a court order, the court may issue an order requiring compensation in the amount of the lost benefit and costs and reasonable attorney fees, to the party who was wrongfully deprived of the income tax dependency exemption. A motion for such relief must be brought within a reasonable time, but in no event later than three years from the date of the filing of the return in which the exemption was claimed or could have been claimed. A party who brings a meritless motion for such relief may be ordered to pay costs and reasonable attorney fees to the other party.

A parent can go to court to get back the tax refunds that were wrongly taken away.  Minnesota law is clear that a parent cannot wait more than three years from the time the kids were wrongly claimed.

Do you have questions about how to clarify how parents claim children during tax season or other family court matters, contact us at 218.722-2655 or fill out our consultation form to schedule a consultation.

Jessica Sterle