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Friday, January 31, 2014

Income Tax Dependency Rules for Children of Divorced Parents

JC Leahy, MA Accounting
For parents who are divorced (and also legally separated, or have lived apart for the last six months of the calendar year) these are the rules to determine who gets to claim the children as dependents..

Generally, the dependency exemption for children of divorced taxpayers will
go to the parent who has custody of the child for the greater part of the calendar year. Periods of custody are measured by the number of nights in which the child resided with the parent. When the child spends an equal number of nights with each parent, the parent with the higher adjusted gross income receives dependency exemption.

In addition, the child must have been in the custody of one or both parents for more than one half of the calendar year.

There are three exceptions to the rule that a custodial parent is entitled to the dependency exemption.

  1. If there is a multiple support agreement that allows the child to be claimed as a dependent by a taxpayer other than the custodial parent, the multiple support agreement governs.
  2. When the custodial parent agrees to let the other parent claim the child as a dependent for income tax purposes, the IRS accepts that.   The agreement must be in writing and attached to the non custodial parent's tax return for each year the exemption is released.
  3. When a pre-1985 divorce decree or separation agreement grants the exemption to the non custodial parent and the non custodial parent provides at least $600 for the support of the child for the year

A word to the wise:  When there is confusion about who gets to claim the child as a dependent, the parent who filed his or her tax return FIRST has the "high ground" in that argument. :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Do Yourself A BIG Favor !!! Get Help With Your Income Taxes !!!!

JC Leahy, MA Accounting
According to H and R Block, taxpayers who filled out their own income tax returns last year without professional assistance left a billion dollars behind in unclaimed refunds and overpaid taxes!!   Do yourself a BIG favor this year and get it right when dealing with the IRS!!!!! JC Leahy has a Masters Degree in Accounting, 35 years' accounting experience. He has been focusing on income taxes for 23 years. He has a dedicated office in his home in Silver Spring/Colesville, Maryland. In this private and confidential setting, he will spend as much time as needed to "get it right" when filing your income tax returns. Unlike certain tax-prep chain operations and franchises, when tax season has ended, if you have any questions or problems, JC Leahy will be readily available to help you throughout the year.

Make an appointment:  Phone JC Leahy and Company LLC at 301-537-5365. 

Get Your Annual Free Credit Report -- Check for Signs of Identity Theft

Fed law entitles you to one free copy of your credit report each year.

The government approved website for getting your free credit report is:



Monday, January 13, 2014

8 Great Reasons to File Your Income Taxes Early !!!

JC Leahy, MA Accounting
Silver Spring, Maryland

Here are 8 reasons to hurry and file your income taxes early:
JC Leahy, MA Accounting
  1. Psychological benefit - Getting your income tax filing out of the way early will probably give you peace of mind.
  2. Get your refund faster -- By filing your return early, you will probably get your refund not only sooner, but also faster.  This is because IRS processing centers are less busy during the tax season and can therefore process your return faster.
  3. Get your financial ducks in a row and avoid high interest debt - If you get your tax refund early, you can pay off high interest credit cards or simply use the early money to keep your personal financial house in order.
  4. Avoid crowds at the Post Office - If you're mailing your tax return, do you really want to deal with the crowd at the Post Office during the rush that comes later in the tax season?
  5. Discover filing problems early enough to deal with them  If you put your income tax filing together early, you may discover that you are missing information or have complications that need to be figured out before you file.  It's better to discover problems like this early so you can fix them before the tax filing deadline.
  6.  Reduce the odds of identity theft -- If you file your taxes early, there's less opportunity for identity thieves to file a fraudulent return on your behalf and collect your refund.
  7. Get the upper hand in martial disputes.  The spouse who files early and claims a child as dependent has the upper hand when the other spouse later wants to claim the same child as dependent.  Also, in cases where one spouse would rather file itemized and the other spouse filing separately would rather claim the standard deduction, the spouse who files first will probably get his/her way.
  8. Help with student financial aid.   You may need your tax data for yours or your child's college financial aid.  It's better to have this information early.