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I'm filing my 2016 taxes. Although I was not claimed as a dependent by my parents, I meet the qualifications of being claimed as a dependent. When filling out my tax return via TurboTax Freedom Edition, it asks for information from my parents' tax return.

My parents refuse to give me their tax return information unless I can prove that I need it. My parents' accountant tells them I do not need it. How can I file my taxes without this information?

  • It asks if I can be claimed as a dependent, regardless of if I actually am claimed. If I answer yes, it asks for their SSN, taxable income, etc. I can skip that, if it truly is irrelevant. But I assumed they asked for the information because it had some effect on my taxes. – Jacob Jones Apr 3 '17 at 22:37
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    @NateEldredge - when I did taxes this week for my 18yr old, I hit that issue. Her return wanted our AGI so it knew what tax rate to apply to her cap gains. If we were in a low bracket, her gains would be taxed at 0 or 10%, else 15. The question is valid, it flows to the return and is required. – JoeTaxpayer Apr 3 '17 at 22:47
  • @JoeTaxpayer If that's the only reason and the OP has no taxable cap gains could it be skipped? – D Stanley Apr 4 '17 at 0:11
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    @DStanley See irs.gov/publications/p929/… for the rules discussing when parents income is needed. I also added a bit of a more detailed response, since none was coming. – JoeTaxpayer Apr 4 '17 at 2:43
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    Is there some animosity or do they just not want you to know the details of their income? – D Stanley Apr 4 '17 at 13:52
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The request for your parent's income comes from Form 8615, Tax for Certain Children Who Have Unearned Income.

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I typically see this form appear as I'm doing my daughter's taxes and start to enter data from stock transactions. In other words, your earned income is your's. But if you are a dependent, or 'can be,' the flow avoids the potentially lucrative results from gifting children appreciated stock, and have them take the gain at their lower, potentially zero cap gain rate.

I suggest you grab a coffee and thumb through Pub 929 Tax Rules for Children and Dependents to understand this better.

From page 14 of the linked doc -

Parent's return information not available. If a child can’t get the required information about his or her parent's tax return, the child (or the child's legal representative) can request the necessary information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

How to request. After the end of the tax year, send a signed, written request for the information to the Internal Revenue Service Center where the parent's return will be filed. (The IRS can’t process a request received before the end of the tax year.)

It also suggests that you file for an extension for the due date of your return. Include payment for the tax you expect to pay, say by plugging in $200K for parent income as an estimate.

My parents' accountant tells them I do not need it.

Well, a piece of software told you that you do, and 3 people on line who collectively qualify as experts documented why. (Note, I am not full of myself. This board operates via the wisdom of crowds. Members DStanley, and Ben Miller, commented and edited to help me form a well documented response that would be tough to argue against.)

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    To answer the question, I would show them page 14 of that publication, which states that you can legally get that information from the IRS, so all they're doing is making it more difficult for you. – D Stanley Apr 4 '17 at 13:51
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    @DStanley - I added the text from that section. Thx. – JoeTaxpayer Apr 4 '17 at 13:55

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