Surely they can't claim me as a dependent against my will...can they?
February 21, 2011 5:22 PM Subscribe
In order to establish residency for grad school, I have to file my taxes independently as a resident of my new state. This weekend, I discovered my parents have already filed, claiming me as a dependent. Please help me.
I've had three phone conversations with them in which they refused to even consider the idea of taking me off their return, and which included the ominous phrase that it's "only fair and equitable" for them to claim me, which leads me to suspect that they'll fight me tooth-and-nail on this (my stepmother can get a bit...dedicated, when she thinks she's entitled to something.) They also seemed to imply that they are required to claim me as a dependent, which seems really dubious to me, but IANAA. Related information: they file through an accountant, which might be part of why they seem convinced that there's no option now but to claim me. I feel like it probably wouldn't be kosher to try to contact her directly, but I don't know.
As far as I see it, I have four options:
1. Try to appeal to the school for a second year of non-resident tuition waiver. They've expressed in the past that they will consider granting these under exceptional circumstances, when you've made a good-faith effort to establish residency requirements and have been unable to for reasons beyond your control. I have no idea if this would qualify in their eyes (I am unusually young for a grad student and really was living with/dependent on my parents full-time up til August, which I hope might sway them?)
2. Continue trying to convince my parents to amend their return.
3. File as an independent anyway, and deal with the fallout from my parents and the IRS.
4. Start looking for a way to afford the additional $22,000 dollars of tuition for next year.
I'm sorry this is kind of an incoherent mess, but I'm a bit of a wreck right now, because I've spent most of my afternoon trying to deal with this, and all of those options seem insurmountable and I hate confrontation and aaaaaagh. Any advice on what I can do to try to make any of these less difficult and more successful would be so, so appreciated. If I missed anything, throwaway email is email@example.com.