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Tax debacle

Old 10-14-2014, 08:53 AM
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Tax debacle

I have NO agreement with the court or xAH around who claims whom for taxes or how to deal with deductions etc... It is NOT for lack of trying. The court has refused to rule for a year on ANY motions filed and just continues hearings on every issue bc of a severe shortage of judges... So Im flying by the seat of my pants... My lawyer (new one after I fired my inept one in July) has said that I am in a terrible position of needing to show the court that I continue to be as fair and reasonable as possible while there is no clarity on issues like this BUT that she knows that xAH abuses my being "reasonable" any chance he gets...

Anyway, because of all that I am having qualms about whether to file alone by tomorrow (the extension deadline) or to file jointly to avoid further drama with him and allow him to share the deductions.

Legally (per the IRS) I am allowed to claim the girls myself bc they live with me and same with deducting the mortgage etc...

However he has been texting me OBSESSIVELY for the past 2 days about how he will make an issue of this when we DO finally go to court if I do not file jointly and let him share the deductions AND since there is no order about who is allowed to claim what, it IS a bit of a conundrum.

Anyone experience anything similar?
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:00 AM
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Each state is different and my divorce was a breeze compared to what you are experiencing.

Having said that I was told that it is a given that I claim the children as deductions since they live with me. No judge would sign off on anything different. I was told this because ex and his attorney were acting like this was a gift.

If you are paying the mortgage I would claim that deduction. If you are not paying the mortgage - I would leave that one go. If it were me I'd file married filing separately. I would claim daycare deductions if you are paying daycare.

Do you have a tax guy to ask?
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:08 AM
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I want and am ready to file alone but I am afraid that if there is ANY hope of this ever ending, maybe I need to just file together to appease him.

It's totally unhealthy of me but I am desperate to get this to be OVER.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:12 AM
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i'd follow the tax laws - this isn't legal/tax advice but...if they live with you full time or more than 50% of the time, then you are entitled to the deduction. as you did not sign any waiver relinquishing the right to claim them then you as the custodial parent are within your rights.

regarding the mortgage, is he still on the mortgage? has he been paying towards the mortgage? taxes? insurance? are you officially divorced and for longer than the current tax year?

i'd suggest getting some professional advice, even a swing thru H&R Block or the like. if you follow the letter of the law i fail to see how that can be held against you.

if however you want to avoid the drama, i can see that too. but it burns my giblets to see somebody getting away with something to which they are not entitled.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:12 AM
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How would this appease him for more than a hot minute?

Speaking strictly FOR ME - I would not cut him an ounce of slack where the taxes are concerned because it can make an enormous difference in your refund. When you file separately you show your intent to be separated from him fully, including his liabilities & income.

If you meet the criteria to file Head of Household then I would really, really consider it. (provide more than 50% of the care for the children, had custody of them more than 50% of the time.... etc.... key word here is MORE... not Equal.) Just make sure that you can PROVE it if questioned. (receipts, bank statements)

Have you worked the numbers yet? How much do you gain/lose with the when you file using different HOH vs. Jt?
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:18 AM
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I hired a CPA to do my taxes the first year -- the CPA was a good friend of my attorney, and I just gave them all the paperwork and they ironed it out together. That way, I knew I had two professionals who had worked on it for me, and that I was in my full right to do what I did. It cost me a good chunk of change but it was worth it for peace of mind (she said as she grumblingly sent the lawyer yet another check, four years later...).

And thank you for the reminder. I actually have a tax issue I need to take up with my lawyer as well.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I want and am ready to file alone but I am afraid that if there is ANY hope of this ever ending, maybe I need to just file together to appease him.

It's totally unhealthy of me but I am desperate to get this to be OVER.
You may forfeit a return. If you qualify for child tax credit it would pay to hire a tax guy to help you so you know what you can do legally. That credit is nice. It pays my heat bill. Do you know if he has already filed? If so did he already claim the kids?

Originally Posted by FireSprite View Post
How would this appease him for more than a hot minute?
Exactly.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:34 AM
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He is a moron who did not have taxes withheld... So if we file together it helps reduce what he owes.

Legally we are still married and I am afraid that if I file alone and he fails to file, I will end up screwed and liable for his taxes anyway...
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:42 AM
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You are not liable for his tax debt if you file separately; that's what that filing designation is for, to protect you. (again, so long as you definitely fit the criteria; provided for the kids more than 50%, separated MORE than 6 months, etc.)

So what I'm reading here is that he NEEDS you to help him reduce his tax debt, which is the consequence of HIS OWN poor decisions. But that YOU will sacrifice a lot in terms of refund in order to make it easier for him.

Screw that. Protect YOU. Get the maximum, allowable LEGAL refund & put it in savings for when this jerkwad is out of cash/unemployed & you are solely supporting your kids.

fwiw, I prepared taxes for 5 years & worked with CPA's for more than 10 before changing professions. This is the same advice I have given many separated spouses over the years. (again.... I have to keep saying it.... just MAKE SURE you fit the criteria for the filing method. )
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:43 AM
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File alone, claim the kids. You're married by default only and headed for a divorce. He can say anything he wants to, but all you have to say is that you didn't want his bad financial decision to be held against your numbers.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:56 AM
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I filed Head of Household (like FireSprite already mentioned), claimed both children...and just didn't claim my AW as a dependent.
It lowered the return by about $500, but it left my AW with the responsibility of filing her own claim. If I'd of claimed her as a dependent, she may have come back later and tried to contest it just to be a hassle...so not claiming her - set her free, so to speak.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:11 AM
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His argument is that for a portion of 2013 I "benefitted" and used the income he earned... That is true... We had a joint acct for a PORTION of 2013 and so I did have some access to some of his income...

His lawyer is squawking to mine that that if I benefitted from the income, I have to pay part of his taxes...

INSANITY!
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:41 PM
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Seems like they are trying the hardline with you. Maybe you should do the same, call their bluff, and say "prove it, all the money I used was mine." Perhaps unethical, though.
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