Does being a dependent on someone else's tax filings make them liable for your actions?
February 9, 2007 9:55 PM Subscribe
Legal liability and auto insurance questions (fun!): Is there any reason I should purchase more than the minimum insurance coverage in my state (California)? Does being a dependent on my parents' tax filings make them liable for damages in court if I, say, caused an automobile accident?
posted by jbb7 to Work & Money (10 answers total)
The situation is like this: They have car insurance back in our home state, but I want to get a cheap policy for a cheap car where I'm living in CA. I got a Geico quote with the minimum legal coverage on everything, and my mom says I can't get that, since they would be personally liable for any damages I cause should they exceed what the insurance covers.
The reason she gave was that since I am a dependent on their tax forms, they are legally liable for my actions. (Even though I am 18 and not living at, or anywhere near, home.) Is this true?
Bonus question: Since they claim me as a dependent, I can't take the standard tax deduction on my decent-sized income. This makes my tax bills quite high as a percentage of my total income. They do not financially support me beyond extending their health insurance to me, which they say is only allowed by the insurance provider because they are claiming me as a dependent. Is this generally the way that parents of people 18 through 22 do it? (I am working this year but will be attending college for 4 years after that, during which I plan to have decent income.) I don't think my parents are trying to rip me off, I just think they don't really have time to figure out all of this and so they just stick with the status quo.