Can I be claimed on my brother’s income taxes without my having given consent?

UPDATED: Apr 7, 2011

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Can I be claimed on my brother’s income taxes without my having given consent?

I jointly own my current home and live there with my brother. He invited his son and his son’s girlfriend to live here and pay rent. He files me on his income taxes without my permission. I work side jobs not but I support myself and help with the bills. Does he owe me a portion of the rent paid since I’m part owner (it counts as income)? Can I sue him and/or his tax return company for using my identity without permission to achieve a financial gain? I’m 31 and not getting goverment help of any-kind. thank you.

Asked on April 7, 2011 under Business Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with a tax attorney--immediately. "Consent" is not even necessarily the issue--the issue is whether you truly are a "dependent' of your brother, and from what you write--joint owner of your home; support yourself; help with bills--it sounds like you are not a dependent. That means you brother is, at best, wrong in his taxes and may be committing tax fraud; you are be wrong on your taxes and committing tax fraud (if you're complicit) in what he's doing; and various tax payments, liabilities, etc. need to be changed or reconciled. This is something you should attend to, and you need some expert counself to determine whether you do face exposure, how much, and what to do about it.

As to the rent: that's a contractual matter. The law does not require an owner to get paid rent; for example, he or she can let another owner, who does the work of managing, get all of it. Whether you are owed any rent depends on any agreement(s) between you and your brother--it's what the two of you negotiated or agreed to.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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