Harry Gross: Born to get a tax exemption

Posted: February 15, 2013

DEAR HARRY: A friend who is a law student told us we might be in trouble for claiming our newborn as an exemption for 2012. On Dec. 27, I went to the hospital because there seemed to be a problem with my pregnancy. Fortunately, it turned out not to be a problem. Because I was already in the hospital, we talked about the possibility of having the baby by Caesarean section in the next few days. This came about because my obstetrician was planning on a vacation a week before my mid-January due date, and I did not want a substitute. I had it on Dec. 29, and we have a lovely little boy. We understand that we are entitled to an exemption for our newborn for 2012. Our friend says that the problem arises because we had the baby early by choice, not naturally, and that the IRS will look at this as a potential fraud. Is it OK, or should we change the return to show a partial exemption or none?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Claim the exemption. There is no provision anywhere that restricts the claiming of such an exemption. The same is true at the end of life with either removing or continuing life-support equipment. You are entitled to a full year's exemption for just a few days of baby. Incidentally, it's not too early to start a college-savings plan for him. Good luck!


Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com or write to him at the Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia 19107.

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