Sorry, Not Sorry That I Accidentally Claimed Our Daughter on My Taxes
I’ve always done my own taxes. Maybe I’m too cheap to pay someone, or maybe I just love the convenience of doing it online.
Whatever the case, it’s always been fairly simple. I don’t own a business or have a foreign bank account, or any other circumstances that make filing especially complicated.
When my ex and I filed for divorce in 2012, it was written in the decree that he would claim our eldest daughter and I would claim the youngest. Even though both live with me 12 months out of the year — minus the two weekends a month that they visit him — I obliged. And this is how it’s been since.
Our eldest got her drivers license in January of last year. It was right before time to file taxes, and I had just added her to our auto insurance, increasing it by roughly $40 a month. I was also the parent to provide her with a vehicle, an “extra" car that I had worked damn hard to pay off by myself, and owned free and clear.
I texted her dad in early February of 2020, requesting to claim her that year in exchange for the extra money I would be paying in car insurance.
Sorry. We’ve already filed.
Of course you have.
But after this year, we can’t claim her anymore for the child credit. So, ya know, whatever.
I filed our taxes this year, just as I always do. Income, credits, deductions. Itemized vs. standard. Same ol’ same ol’.
Only apparently, I failed to mark the box stating that — while our daughter lives with me — there’s an agreement for her father to claim her.
I conducted a reassessment, this time check-marking the correct box. It resulted in us earning less than $50 back on our refund. But the upstanding person that I am, I texted my ex with a full explanation of how claiming her had been inadvertent, and that I would file an amended return.
He never responded.
What I didn’t realize was that claiming her this year would also result in a substantial increase in our stimulus check. Yikes.
Then again, I did attempt to rectify my mistake, with no response from him. My guess is that he has blocked my number. Oh well, that’s on him.
That’s when I started thinking about the whole situation…objectively, monetarily, and little bit personally.
Our divorce decree states that he would claim our eldest until the age of 18.
It also states that he’d pay X amount in child support. An amount that he has refused to pay since around year two.
The decree states that we are to split medical and dental bills. But when our eldest was told she needed braces several years ago, my ex suddenly became an orthodontist, declaring braces weren’t necessary, so he paid nothing. He made the same decision for our younger daughter when she got braces last year.
Our youngest is on a much-needed medication that insurance won’t cover. I pay $103 every month for her to feel “normal", while my ex argues that I made her a lab rat by putting her on medication. Only a few months earlier, he had praised my decision in having her tested for the gene mutation for which she’s taking medicine.
Our eldest is taking two semesters of college courses while still in her Senior year of high school, at a whopping total of $580. I paid that.
Her graduation gown and hat, and all the paraphernalia that accompanies being a Senior cost me $250.
I paid over $200 for the copyrights to her absolutely stunning digital Senior pictures. And I’ll be dammed if I give him the code and password to access them.
I’ve paid above and beyond what I should, based upon an old written agreement that he has basically shit on.
I’ve provided for our girls — on my own — provisions that he should have contributed to, yet refused.
And I’d do it again. Time and time again. Because that’s what a good parent does.
So yes, I know he is “supposed" to claim our eldest daughter. And I would never purposely deviate from that plan. But in retrospect, do I have any regrets for my accidental transgressions in claiming her? Do I owe an apology?
Hell no. And given the chance, I’d do it again.