Q:

How are dependent claims verified by the IRS?

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Quick Answer

The Internal Revenue Service verifies dependent claims using an automatic computer system, which checks for errors in form submissions; the federal agency also randomly selects tax return forms for review, ensuring accuracy. Sometimes, people mistakenly submit erroneous forms to the IRS, and it sends them back for correction and resubmission. The IRS looks for certain signs of false dependent claims, such as two people claiming the same person as a dependent.

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Full Answer

The IRS hasa six-point test for dependents. Individuals must meet all six criteria, which include age of child, age of taxpayer, relationship between dependent and claimant, income, andplace and duration of residence. The sixth test exists when two people claim the same dependent. The taxpayer submitting a tax form for the dependent must surpass a tie-breaker test, which contains its own set of rules in determining eligibility of dependents. When dependents pass the six-point test set forth by the IRS, taxpayers receive a deduction on annual income qualifying as taxable. This amount varies yearly. Some dependents clearly meet the qualifying criteria, posing few concerns regarding eligibility. Complexities arise, however, in certain situations such as divorce or when parents aren't married. People may claim relatives as dependents, provided they meet theIRS' qualifying criteria.

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