Guest Author - Kate Woods
Every day there are an insurmountable number of women and girls who dream about meeting their Prince Charming. Of course that’s perfectly logical if you consider that from childhood girls are told stories and shown movies about a damsel in distress who is rescued by none other than Prince Charming. When they grow up they long to find their very own Prince Charming to file their tax return with a married filing joint status instead of a single status. But they should be cautious or they just may end up being an innocent spouse married to a Player.
Consider the story of Snow White who was innocently running about in the woods with her little animals and friends without a care in the world. Now she knew that an Evil Queen was stalking her but in her flippant carefree way she just blew off that little matter. Low and behold the Evil Queen in disguise came along and poisoned the bubble headed girl. Hence, she falls into a sleeping death like trance until along comes none other than Prince Charming who takes one glance at her perfectly preserved appearance and without knowing if she has a brain in her head, he decides he’s in love and must take her back to his kingdom. So being a clumsy inept buffoon he and his servants dump her out of her glass coffin which causes the piece of poison apple to be dislodged from her throat and she opens her innocent trusting eyes and falls for the charming Prince who just dropped her on the ground and fell in love with her merely because of her perfect manikin appearance. Score one for the traveling Prince Charming. They go to his Kingdom where he marries her and sets her up in a wing of the castle and he now has one dependent and can file his return with a married filing joint status.
In a few weeks Prince Charming grows restless and decides he must go roaming to distant kingdoms for entertainment. He heads out and travels for awhile with some of his guardsmen with no particular destination until they arrive at a Castle full of sleeping people. There he finds a beautiful sleeping woman and not one to be able to resist kissing the perfect looking damsel who was obviously in distress he kissed her and not only she but the entire castle full of people woke up. Prince Charming was really full of himself now because he had some powerful kiss. He married Sleeping Beauty and took her home to his Kingdom and set her up in another wing. He would call her a live in relative and then he’d have an additional dependency exemption he could claim on his tax return as long as he met all the dependency exemption requirements.
According to the laws of the land, he would be allowed one exemption for each person he could claim as a dependent. A dependent is a qualifying child or a qualifying relative; but only if three tests were met - a dependent taxpayer test, the joint return test, and the citizen or resident test.
For the person to be your qualifying relative they must be related to you in one of the ways listed under relatives who do not have to live with you to qualify or they must live with you all year as a member of your household and the relationship must not violate the local law of the land; the person’s gross income for the year must be less than $3,300 and you must provide more than half of the person’s total support for the year. The dependent generally cannot be married and filing a joint return with someone else and they have to pass the citizen or resident test of the land.
About a month after bringing Sleeping Beauty home and splitting his time between Snow White and Sleeping Beauty the Prince was worn out and declared that he needed to go on a hunting trip for some R&R. On this journey he met and ultimately rescued and married Rapunzel and set her up in yet another wing of the castle and Prince Charming had one more dependency exemption.
The Player Prince thought he had all of his bases covered and that none of his wives would ever find out about each other until a notice arrived by carrier from the royal tax collector inquiring about the number of his dependency exemptions increasing so quickly. Now deliveries were a big deal in those days and each wife went out onto their respective balcony to see what the delivery was all about. What a surprise it was when they saw each other. The wives had a meeting and decided they had questions about the Innocent Spouse rules. They would have to determine if Prince Charming improperly reported or omitted items on their tax returns and if they would need to request innocent spouse relief. It would seem that having more than one wife would violate the law of the land and that the two extra wives probably did not qualify as dependents according to the list of eligible relatives. They packed up their personal belongings and went on a trip of their own to meet with the royal tax collector to review their tax situation and options before they met with a royal solicitor. Prince Charming’s life was becoming a lot less charming and being a Player was about to cease to be fun. As he sat shaking in his boots alone he wondered what his three wives had in store for him in the future…
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