The Warm Heart of the IRS

You say your child was kidnapped? Sorry, but that means you may no longer be able to claim him as a dependent on your taxes. Topic 357 of the tax code provides guidelines for this situation:

You may claim a kidnapped child as your dependent if the following requirements are met:
1. The child must be presumed by law enforcement to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or a member of the child's family, and
2. The child had, for the taxable year in which the kidnapping occurred, the same principal place of abode as the taxpayer for more than one-half of the portion of such year before the date of kidnapping.

If both of these requirements are met, the child may meet the requirements for purposes of determining:
* The dependency exemption
* The child tax credit, and
* Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status.

This tax treatment will cease to apply as of your first tax year beginning after the calendar year in which either there is a determination that the child is dead or the child would have reached age 18, whichever occurs first.

Link provided by Prof. Music who notes: there is cold, and then there is. . . . COLD
     Posted By: Alex - Mon Apr 13, 2009
     Category: Government | Regulations





Comments
Let me sort this out, it says "The child had, for the taxable year in which the kidnapping occurred, the same principal place of abode as the taxpayer for more than one-half of the portion of such year before the date of kidnapping", so if your child was abducted in July or later in the year, you can claim them as a dependent; If your child was abducted between January and June, the kidnapper claims them? Can the kidnapper also claim the EIC and additional child tax credit? What rate is ransom money taxed at?
Posted by Matt in Florida on 04/13/09 at 10:42 AM
Matt: That is bad terminology being used - which isn't the first time and won't be the last when it comes to Congresspeak. As long as you could have otherwise claimed the child as your dependent, you can continue to claim the child. That was not the case in the past. The current law may sound cold - or even COLD - but it's warmer than the prior law.
Posted by Paul in Athens GA on 04/13/09 at 10:57 AM
only if you ain't got a pot to piss in, if you're rich it's always different.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/13/09 at 07:53 PM
I have a saucepan to piss in. I dream of the days when I can afford a pot.
Posted by kingmonkey in Athens, Ontario on 04/13/09 at 08:08 PM
when are you inviting us to dinner then kingmonkey? :lol:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/13/09 at 08:19 PM
You guys still don't get it. They get to claim the kid. Period.

They used to not be able to. So you would think that this change in the law would be a good thing.

Now, for how many people it impacts......

Sadly, more than it should.
Posted by Paul in Athens GA on 04/13/09 at 09:27 PM
What's the take on kids who run away? They are just as missing as the ones who are kidnapped, but I bet there's no special wording in the tax law for them, and I also bet parents can and do continue to claim them. Seems to me that a child being kidnapped is horrific enough, this shouldn't be necessary.
Posted by Nethie on 04/13/09 at 11:00 PM
"The child had, for the taxable year in which the kidnapping occurred, the same principal place of abode as the taxpayer for more than one-half of the portion of such year before the date of kidnapping"

This is saying that if the kid lived with you for more than half the time during the (tax) year before being kidnapped, then you can claim him/her. For example, if the kid were kidnapped on February 1 and your tax year starts January 1, then you could claim the kid if s/he lived with you for half of January. (I had to read it a few times before reading it correctly, too 😛)

Nethie, It wouldn't surprise me if they have a clause for runaways, too...
Posted by jswolf19 in Japan on 04/14/09 at 06:28 AM
thanks jswolf i missed that. it does make a little more sense now.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/14/09 at 07:40 AM
"What's the take on kids who run away?"

They may not be your dependent after that.

Interestingly enough, if the kid beings filing returns using their own SSN, the IRS would not contact the parents due to privacy issues.
Posted by Paul in Athens GA on 04/14/09 at 08:46 AM
outeast you make a valid point. but not all kidnappings are for ransom. if a child of people of limited means is kidnapped they may well be ruined by missed work and other expenses. they may also have other children to care for or want money for a private investigator in hopes of a cold trail being picked up again. some of us count on tax returns for extra but necessary expenses. they certainly will gain nothing from the federal government keeping money they need because they are too grief- stricken to file. i could also see the irs penalising someone for forgetting to file during a tragedy like this.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/16/09 at 07:52 AM
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