How to NOT declare a dependent in TurboTax?

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986racer
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How to NOT declare a dependent in TurboTax?

Post by 986racer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:39 pm

This is my first year of not wanting to declare someone who could normally be declared a dependent.

How do I do this in TurboTax? (or more importantly in the 1040)

In TurboTax, do I just not list that person as a family member? Or, is there some other box I should check so that I list her as a potential dependent but not someone that I'm actually trying to declare as a dependent?

On the 1040, should I just not list her at all in the Dependents section or is that what section 4 of the Dependents section is for?

FYI, the reason I want to not declare her as a dependent is so that she can take advantage of the AOTC.

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MP123
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Re: How to NOT declare a dependent in TurboTax?

Post by MP123 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:05 pm

Yes, you can just not enter her at all.

BUT be aware that the test for some things (like the standard deduction) is whether she can be claimed as a dependent. Not whether you have actually done so. Could you claim her as a dependent?

It might be worth running through her return first to make sure it's what you want. Assuming that she is in fact your dependent and you're choosing not to claim her.

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986racer
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Re: How to NOT declare a dependent in TurboTax?

Post by 986racer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:19 pm

Yes, I understand that for her return, she has to check the box that says she can be listed as a dependent. However, I want her to also be able to check the box that she actually isn't listed as a dependent.

I'm just trying to figure out the mechanics of how to not list her as a dependent.

It sounds like the right thing to do is to just not list her at all.

I thought there might be something on my 1040 where I list her (so that she shows up as someone that I can claim as a dependent) and then check something saying that I'm not actually taking the dependent deductions for her.

If so, it looks like I'll need to refile taxes for this year (grrr... I hear that is not fun to do with TurboTax)

RudyS
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Re: How to NOT declare a dependent in TurboTax?

Post by RudyS » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:13 pm

Yes, the test on her return is whether she can be claimed, not whether she is claimed....

But mainly I want to tell you that filing an amended return in TurboxTax is not so bad, you just have to be careful to follow the instructions exactly. I did this, it worked fine, a couple of years ago.

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986racer
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Re: How to NOT declare a dependent in TurboTax?

Post by 986racer » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:20 am

One more question...

As expected, removing the dependents from my federal return did not change the amounts on my return.

However, it did seem to adjust my figures on my NY/NJ returns. Do I need to keep the dependents the same between the federal return and the state returns? If so, it seems like I need to amend those as well. If not, then it seems that I just need to amend the federal return.

gtd98765
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Re: How to NOT declare a dependent in TurboTax?

Post by gtd98765 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:07 am

986racer wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:19 pm


If so, it looks like I'll need to refile taxes for this year (grrr... I hear that is not fun to do with TurboTax)
Having just amended my 2019 return with TurboTax for a similar reason (my daughter was listed as a dependent when she should not have been, which screwed up her ability to file her own taxes), let me relieve your anxiety here.

Amending the return was pretty painless. The hardest part was printing the amended return out on paper - since apparently you can't amend electronically - finding a big envelop, and taking it to the post office to mail with delivery tracking.

Topic Author
986racer
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Re: How to NOT declare a dependent in TurboTax?

Post by 986racer » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:38 am

986racer wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:20 am
One more question...

As expected, removing the dependents from my federal return did not change the amounts on my return.

However, it did seem to adjust my figures on my NY/NJ returns. Do I need to keep the dependents the same between the federal return and the state returns? If so, it seems like I need to amend those as well. If not, then it seems that I just need to amend the federal return.
To answer my own question...
From reading the instructions for NY, it has a section that is pretty explicit about this:
IT-201 Instructions (Page 16) wrote: Example: You were entitled to claim your daughter as a dependent on your federal return but chose not to in order to allow her to claim a federal education credit on her federal tax return; you may still claim her as a dependent on your New York State return.
The NJ instructions aren't as explicit, but it seems to indicate that I can also claim them in that it has language that I can claim someone that qualifies as a dependent on my federal return. It doesn't say that I must actually claim them as a dependent.

Housedoc
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Re: How to NOT declare a dependent in TurboTax?

Post by Housedoc » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:23 pm

Just use the edit function in the section on dependents and delete her.

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