I have full physical and legal custody of my son. His father has infrequent supervised visitation due to a history of abuse, psychotic behavior and kidnapping threats. My son is 3 years old. His father started having his child support garnished through his job by the DTA in January of last year. He claims he's still paying, but I have received nothing since March and the DTA tells me they're getting nothing from him. I'm currently not working, so not filing my taxes, and there is nothing about who can claim my son as a dependent in the custody papers, but I know he will do so every year if he gets a chance. And there's other things he can do with my son's social security number, also, that would not be good. I just got a text from my son's father (new number, I only figured it out because who else would be asking for my son's SS number by name) saying, "Hey. I'm with my tax accountant right now and I need James' social security number for the child support payments." Am I legally required to give it to him?
I don't think that you have to give it to him, but there is nothing to stop him from getting it anyway since he is the legal father. He would have to put in the effort to get a copy of your son's card and probably birth certificate though.
Since it's not a number you recognize, I wouldn't answer. And I probably wouldn't send a SSN over text anyway, but especially to an unknown number.
Bumping your thread . . . hope you can hear from someone who has BTDT.
If it were me, I would ask the father to give me the contact info for the accountant and talk directly with that accountant. Then I would call my local district attorney and ask about the legalities. If I were receiving financial help through the county/state/feds, I would ask my social worker for documentation of the legalities. I would also call my local domestic violence network (since this guy has a history of abuse) and ask the same questions there.
Unless you sign the IRS form 8332 to claim DS on his federal tax return, he cannot (legally) claim DS since he lives with ex less than 50% of the year. You don't have to sign that form unless a court order says you have to. A court isn't going to order you to sign the form unless you agree to release the claim to exemption or your ex petitions the court to order it and finds it to be in DS's best interest (which, frankly, might be in his best interest since it puts more money on the table for child support). Releasing the claim for exemption doesn't allow him to deduct any child care expenses (which I'm pretty sure he doesn't have anyway) and still allows you to deduct child care expenses, if you ever incur any, because only the parent where the child lives more than 50% of the year is allowed to claim child care deduction.
Do you know if the garnishments you have set up will seize refunds from the IRS? If so, letting him claim your DS might put some money in that pot for you to recoup. Of course, if you decide to sign the form (as opposed to passively telling him the SSN and letting him claim without the form), it is a good idea to sign a new form every year so you can stop allowing him to claim DS at any time. I've heard/read that you both claiming DS in the same tax year will trigger an automatic audit for you both. I don't know the truth of that, but if you fear him claiming DS even if you begin filing taxes again, this might be something to investigate how you can protect yourself.
Since he is the father, he could go down to the social security office and get DS's SSN (of course, that would require more effort than hassling you about it) so not giving it to him may only delay problems. What other things are you afraid of him doing with an SSN? Opening credit accounts? Of course that wouldn't be a good thing, but at least there are options available to monitor and protect that aspect. I can't think of what else he might do with it, but it might be a good idea to take the necessary precautions against the actions you're afraid of him taking, even if you don't give him give him the number. I think the credit bureaus allow you to put a "suspected fraud" flag on an SSN (might require a police report to get an extended, multi-year, flag) and I know the passport office allows you to set a children's passport alert.
x2 on not texting an SSN, though, even if you knew the phone number.
ETA: Ex claiming DS puts more money on the table for child support than no one claiming him at all as is the case right now. If you would work and earn less or equal income as ex, then of course the tax credit and exemption is worth more to you/DS than to ex.
(DSD 10yo) (29wks - 2/2012) (1/2013)
I don't think that child SUPPORT has a place in taxes. Maintenance does, and child care expenses do. Child support does not.
So if he's asking for an SSN, what he probably means is "so that I can claim him as a dependent" as there's no where on the form that asks for SSN of children you're paying child support for.
Another place that might help you:
That's a good point about needing to sign the form for him to claim the exemption. If you do choose to do that, definitely only sign for one specific year. Since you have primary custody, you automatically get to claim ds, plus you'd be able to file head of household assuming you live on your own. If you both claimed him for a year, it would result in an audit, but you would win.
If you made anything at all last year, it would be a good idea to file taxes anyway, since you'll likely qualify for the earned income credit with ds as a dependent and could get something back.
Like SparkleFairy said, Child Support is NOT tax deductible and is not listed on tax forms anywhere. Only Spousal Support (alimony) is listed on tax forms.
Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
Given the situation there is no reason to be "nice" and let him claim your son as his dependant.
You could just ignore or be more direct and email back you are claiming ds as your dependant as tax laws allow?
Wouldn't it be fraud for him to claim when he is not?
And I would definitely just ignore the request for the SSN.
Another reason to file - you also may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which comes back as a refund.
The other posters are correct about child support not being an eligible expense. My x tried that the first year too (I also have full legal and physical custody; he has weekly supervised visitation).
If he paid spousal support he would need YOUR ssn; not your child's.
Update... or non-update, whichever it may be...
It was definitely him texting me- the only person from that area code who has my number- but I completely ignored his text and haven't heard from him since (I'm actually expecting harrassing emails about his next visitation, so I'm surprised I haven't heard from him about anything...). Of course, since I know he's filing for taxes and therefore has some form of income, maybe I can get his overdue child support (going on 11 months now) taken out of his taxes...