Would you call the IRS to prevent your ex from claiming your child?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/12/2012 ( 30 moms have responded )

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I have to ask because I will be in this situation next year. I live in Canada, but I'm from the US and my ex still lives there. I have full custody and guardianship of my older daughter as granted to me by New York State and my ex and I have nothing stating that he is allowed to claim our daughter on his taxes.



My ex did try to claim our daughter on his taxes one year and got in trouble for it because he had been in Afghanistan for most of the year and our daughter has never resided with him. He and his wife had to pay back the money they'd received. But the only reason that the IRS found out was because I had filed my taxes and my mom helped me explain everything (my mom used to work for H&R Block and does my taxes every year).



This year isn't an issue but next year I won't be filing US taxes since I'll be working in Canada. Yes I know I have a year to decide what to do, but I'm an obsessive planner. I do want to make sure he doesn't try to claim a child who he doesn't even live with or even contact. I'm just wondering if that seems sneaky to some of you or would you do it too?

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She doesn't even know if he WILL claim the daughter. Its all speculation. Why go out of your way to tell on someone who may or may not commit a crime in the future. My conscience would be clearer knowing i kept out of it. I would feel guilty contacting the IRS telling on him when he could have learned his lesson the first time and doesn't want to chance jail AND his career.

Tam - posted on 02/14/2012

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The correct path is not necessarily the easiest one to take. I honestly don't think it reflects badly on you if you report what is in all honesty, a crime. It's not like he is killing someone, but it is stealing. People get in legal trouble for less, and each time something like this happens, there are victims.



Sure, it's just a few thousand. This year. Then a few thousand next year. And it keeps going. And if the standard remains across the board, the exemption for a child claimed on taxes continues to rise by a hundred or more per tax year.



As for victims - there wouldn't be an entire division of law enforcement dedicated to tax fraud if this wasn't a problem. I have worked for the government, and I know that a couple thousand bucks is just a drop in the bucket. But when you multiply that ONE person's fraud by all the others who are undoubtedly doing it (I don't have numbers but I'd imagine there are a lot) then it's not so much a drop in the bucket anymore. I'd hazard a guess in the dark that it is a good reason why some of our debt remains so high as a nation.



I, for one, lost my job because of the government debt. To which people who claim children that don't live with them, who 'aren't hurting anyone' likely contributed to. It's not a violent crime, but it is also not a victimless one.



Reporting your child's current location to the IRS is a good compromise if you don't wish to straight out warn them of his history of behavior. But in my opinion, it doesn't make you spiteful for alerting the authorities to the possibility of a criminal act being committed. Also, think of if you ever come back to the US. B y knowing about something and failing to report it, you might even be seen as complicit in his activities. Weirder things have happened.



Ignoring a problem just because it doesn't hurt you personally is not right, and it doesn't make the problem go away. It just lets the guy get away with doing something that is illegal.



Also, you said he was in Afghanistan? Is he military?

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Yeah, I wouldn't bother reporting him. If he's stupid enough to commit tax fraud... eventually it'll catch up to him and be even worse of a payback.... and I wouldn't want the drama from him and his wife that WOULD effect me and the kids from 'me' being the one to 'bust' him.

Samara - posted on 02/14/2012

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You mu want to look into the laws to do with whether you'll have to file with the US. I'm not an expert tax preparer but as I understand the law, it doesn't matter where you work you still have to pay US taxes UNLESS you change your citizenship.



As far as telling on your ex, if you do have to file US taxes then it will take care of itself if he does claim your daughter. If you don't have to file taxes here then the IRS will have it red flagged if he does claim her. They already know that he has done it once and won't let it slide again.



I would hope that he wouldn't be stupid enough to make that mistake again. Its one thing to do it once but the IRS won't take it lightly if he does it again.

Jodi - posted on 02/12/2012

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Quite honestly? If it doesn't affect what you claim, or doesn't affect your financial position, or doesn't negatively affect child support in any way, then I'd leave it alone. Yes, I do think it would be a touch sneaky and vindictive. It IS wrong of him to claim if he never has the child, but if the US has a system stupid enough to be able to allow this, then I don't see it is an issue you should be concerned with.

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/15/2012

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Thanks Tam, lucky for me he only has about 5 years

Tam - posted on 02/15/2012

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I just looked it up, because of curiosity. The statute of limitations on tax fraud such as filing false claims is only six years. Unless he does it over and over and over, he could very well get away with it if the IRS doesn't catch on.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/15/2012

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Oh Man Teresa the wife is a trip! Most of you are probably right the drama would be crazy and he'll probably get himself in trouble sooner or later.



He was dumb enough to do it once even though he didn't meet any of the requirements to claim our daughter (he wasn't even in the country for 6 months let alone having our daughter with him the year he did that) So more than likely he's dumb enough to do it again.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/15/2012

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Quite true. And I can picture the email: Why didn't you tell me?

Lisa - posted on 02/15/2012

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I wouldn't stress yourself over something that doesn't concern or affect you...let him suffer the repercussios of falsly claiming his child on his taxes. One less thing to worry about :)

Samara - posted on 02/14/2012

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@Sherri Champagne believe it or not I can read! I know that she lives and works in Canada. Her post says this! I'm a tax professional and I know of others who live and work outside the US who have to pay US taxes! The reason would be because they are still AMERICANS. I simply said to look into it.



I don't understand why you felt the need to reiterate such a fact.

Jessica - posted on 02/14/2012

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I wouldn't say anything, he would just get in trouble(pay back) for it later when I claim my taxes, and they see that she does not reside with him.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/14/2012

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I'll ask my mom about that for next year. This year isn't an issue because my 2011 tax returns are all from New York where I lived and worked until June.



Taxes in the US and Canada are different in some ways because if DH and I were living in the US and filing Taxes I'd file as single since DH is a Canadian citizen. But in Canada DH files as married even though I'm American.



Julianne, I didn't think of that (not the part about learning his lesson, because he's not the type of person who believes that he should have to take responsibility for his actions.) The permanent resident Visa should take care of part of my problem. We can't file for Canadian citizenship until 2015 though.

Tam - posted on 02/14/2012

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If I remember right, there is a block on the tax forms asking if you live and/or earned income in a non-US territory or country. So as a US citizen, it is entirely possibly you have to report earnings, though you may not have to pay US taxes on them.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/14/2012

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Because he has already done it before. Megan is a pretty intelligent person (from reading all her posts), she wouldn't be asking the question if she didn't heavily fall to the side that he more than likely will. If he learnt his lesson the first time, then he won't do it a second time and Megan calling would have no affect...It will however have an affect if he DOES do it a second time. Best to be safe than sorry, is my motto. Their not going to tell him she tipped them off, so all he knows is they caught him.



I say too bad for him, if he goes and commits fraud again then he is deserving of the outcomes...



But I will agree to disagree. I believe in truthfulness, I could careless if a liar gets what they deserve.



It is completely up to Megan. I think she knows what she wants to do and I say go for it, whether it be to not say anything or to let the IRS know. Only Megan knows how she will feel in the end.... ;)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/14/2012

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Could be years by then... He could leave the Country too, then what? The IRS doesn't catch everyone right away. I am not sure what the rules are there but I am sure they are more harsh if not closely alike those in Canada. The government here can ask you for records from up to 7 years previous... He could be back in Afghanistan before they catch up to him.



It really isn't about him anyhow, IMO, it is about having a clean conscience. If you know about it or that it is possible, then you should alert, you are a part of the crime if you know but don't tell.

[deleted account]

He'd get caught regardless, especially if your planning on getting canadian citizenship for your daughter.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/14/2012

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I know if it were me it would lie on my conscience. I would wonder every year if he filed or not. I don't like that feeling. ;) I don't like the feeling of being directly or indirectly a part of any malice acts...

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/14/2012

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Natalie, he never sent a Christmas present and he doesn't call our daughter more than twice a year. Heck when I see him on YIM he never talks or asks about our child unless he sent something and he wants gratitude for it.



Julianne is right though it would be a lot of drama. I just got done with his drama last year for moving from NY to BC because he was convinced that I was trying to take our daughter from him (he lives in GA and avoids any excessive work in maintaining a relationship with our daughter) and dragged it out to the point where I had my baby the day after a court date where he never showed up even though the judge told him if he didn't show up his case would be thrown out.



I just don't like the idea of him cheating the system and getting money for a child he doesn't even make contact with unless it's to ease his guilty conscience

Jennifer - posted on 02/14/2012

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I'd report him. Just me, and I can claim all kind of justification for it, but it probably boils down to spite. I would think about how it may affect his child support payments if he went to jail, though. Don't want to spite yourself out of needed money.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/14/2012

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I was only referring to the economy in this instance because if he does it how many others do it? I highly doubt it is a singular fraud, I bet many do it, meaning his few thousand a year adds to all the other's few thousand a year.... I don't live there Natalie but I have many o' family that do. ;)



However, I guess if Megan is OK with letting it ride itself out, there is nothing wrong with that either. I was just saying what I would do. If she did notify the IRS and he did claim (since he wouldn't know she notified them) then he would have a 2nd offense and be in serious doodoo. Otherwise he may not get found out and may continue to do it, so now we are talking about a few thousand every year.



I am not sure if that is something Megan wants or not anyhow. I for one would but, I can only speak for my daughter's "sperm donor" (bio-father) and how I would take pleasure in seeing him in crap. ;) As well as I try to be as honest as I can be...



He wouldn't even know she informed them, really. It would be a letting them know her and her daughter no longer live in the States. The IRS can figure the rest out if need be...

Natalie - posted on 02/13/2012

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If you're not filing U.S. taxes, then why does it matter if he claims her? It's not going to hurt her or you, and who knows? I would tell him to go ahead and do it, and maybe suggest he could get her a little something extra for Christmas or something. :) And as far as the U.S. economy goes, with them sending billions to other countries to help them, and supporting so many illegal immigrants, a couple of thousand to a working legal resident isn't going to hurt them. And yes, I live here.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/13/2012

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He's done it before and I figure now he'll do it again. I don't like the idea that he feels he can claim our daughter because I'm in Canada. He'll probably figure he deserves it since the child support he sends adds up to 5,000 USD a year. Big deal, my rent alone for a year is more than double that.



Aw well, I can always hope that him getting into trouble the first time can deter him from breaking the law a second time. Because the second time he will go to jail.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/13/2012

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Honestly and I know I will probably get flack for saying this.



I believe in honesty, I try my best (yes there are times I have had to shed a white lie) to be truthful.



If it were me I would be letting the IRS know. He doesn't deserve to claim your daughter, you have sole custody. So what if you live in Canada now. If you still lived in the States he couldn't claim her, why should he be able to just because you will be submitting taxes in a different Country. To me it is sneaky of him, he is lying to the Government for something he does not deserve. The economy is not the best in the States (not as good as Canada) and this is just one less person they have to give money to when it isn't his to claim... I'd rather see the extra money go back into something for those citizens that need care, rather than into a liars pocket... Just my opinion...



BTW - I am a diligent planner as well, I hear where you're coming from there... ;)

Stifler's - posted on 02/12/2012

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I wouldn't care unless I got in trouble for something he was doing.

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