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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Claiming my wife for 2012



So in the middle of 2012, I got married but I never filed a return for the 2012 tax year. We also had a son later that year. I now found out that my wife was claimed on my in-laws' return. I want to file a 2012 tax return. What's the best solution? Should I file MFS without claiming my wife but claiming my son? We both paid tuition and earned minimal income that year. Also - what will I gain and what will her parents lose if I have them refile (assuming I should)?


Thanks for your question.

It was illegal for them to claim her dependency exemption.  They should file an amended return.  If they don't, go ahead and file joint.  The IRS will then send a letter to you and them, instructing you to file an amended return if you were not eligible.  At this point be affirmative, responding why you ARE eligible to do so.  If they don't file ,the IRS will investigate.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Two other questions:

(1) If I was a a full time student for 12 months in 2013 and my wife 7, is there a problem in adding $250 x 12 to my earned income and $250 x 7 to my wife's for child care credit calculations?

(2) What do I do with box 3, 4 and 6 of the 2013 1098T? Does it have to be reported somewhere on my return?

ANSWER: 1. The $250 can be applied to only one spouse.  If you were also working you cannot use the $250 unless your earned income was less than that amount.

2. Don't worry about box 3.  Boxes 4 and 6 may require an amendement to a prior return if it affect the amount of your credit for the prior year.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks. Do boxes 4 an 6 show the addition in tuition for box 4 and addition in scholarship for box 6 or the revised amounts?

As for my first follow up question..I was a full time student 12 months of the year and earned $440 in total while my wife was a full time student for approximately 7 months of the year while making $16k total. Should I make my earned income to $3,440 keep hers as i?

The additional or reduced amounts for box 4 and 6, respectively.

The $250 is a per month calculation.  So, if in a given month you earned $200 you would only add $50 to the amount.  If that same month your wife earned $300 you would use that number and ignore your amounts.

John Stancil CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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