During this upcoming tax season, I'm anticipating a scenario where my client decides he doesn't want to claim his 18 year old son as a dependent because the son is working (earns $4,800 in 2020). By not claiming him as a dependent, the son can claim a $1,200 stimulus tax credit on his own 2020 tax return. (My client made too much in 2018 and 2019 and did not receive a stimulus check in Apr 2020.)
If the son clearly qualifies as a dependent on my client's return, can my client just decide to not claim him as a dependent thereby enabling his son to claim the $1,200 stimulus tax credit? Seems like this will be a very common scenario for 2020.
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"If the son clearly qualifies as a dependent on my client's return, can my client just decide to not claim him as a dependent thereby enabling his son to claim the $1,200 stimulus tax credit?"
Isn't it your job to file their taxes according to the status that applies, and not what the customer thinks they can leverage to their own interests? Sure, your Client can just decide to do whatever they want, but your professional responsibility is to do what applies per the regulations.
By the way:
You asked once under Lacerte and once under ProSeries. You seem not to be asking a program question, but a Tax discussion. You didn't need to post Twice, if you had posted in the Tax Talk section. It's all one community, so you asked the same volunteers to do twice the work.
For future searchers, the answer is NO, you can't, as is explained further in this duplicate thread:
You do not have to claim a dependent if you don't want to. The only reason I can think why you would not has to do with education credits. If you are a dependent you cannot claim your self even if not claimed, and you must check the box on 1040 "someone can claim you as a dependent"