I claimed my two college-age children on my return but shouldn't have since they're filing on their own. What should I do?


You must first determine if your children can be your dependents since they’re qualifying children or relatives.

If you are claiming adult children as dependents, they can still file their own returns. However, they can’t claim a personal exemption. This is true whether or not you claim them as dependents. If you claim them as dependents, this affects their ability to claim certain other benefits, like the Earned Income Credit (EIC).

If they aren’t your dependents, you should use the amended return option to remove them. Use Form 1040X to create an amended return, which you must mail to the IRS.

After you remove your children from your return, each child will then be able to claim a personal exemption.

If a Social Security number (SSN) has already been claimed on a return and you try to file with it, you’ll have to mail in your return. The IRS won’t allow a second return claiming the same SSN to be e-filed. You don’t need to send any additional documents with the return.

Related Topics

Related Resources

I’m an adult over 24 years of age, but I live with my parents who provide more than half of my support. Can they claim a

Can you be claimed as a qualifying child or relative if you are 24 years old and live with your parents who primarily support you? Get tax answers fro

Can I claim my spouse as a dependent?

Can spouses be claimed as dependents? Learn more about this issue and get tax answers at H&R Block today.

My baby was born in December, but I still haven’t received her social security number. Do I need a SSN to claim my chil

Do you need your child's SSN before you can claim him as a dependent? Learn the answer before you file. Get tax answers at H&R Block.

I only have a few months of employment and unemployment income this year. Should I claim myself on taxes and my children

Is it better to claim yourself or be claimed as a dependent when filing taxes? Find out which situation may benefit you the most from H&R Block.