If you have recently obtained a divorce, you may be wondering how you should be filing your tax returns. As long as you were still married as of December 31st, you can still file a joint tax return. Even if your divorce case was filed, if you did not receive your divorce decree by December 31st you were still considered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as being married. The same rule applies to same-sex couples if they were married in a state where same-sex marriages are legal.
Most couples want to file jointly if possible because it will result in more tax savings. It your divorce decree was entered before December 31st, you will be required to file separately (as singles) or as head of household. It is important to discuss your options with a tax professional to determine which type of filing would be most beneficial to you. It is important to note that the IRS allows you to deduct a portion of the fees you pay for expert advice regarding tax planning. You may also be allowed to deduct fees incurred in obtaining or collecting alimony. As your attorney, we can provide you an itemized statement of our services for tax purposes.
Whatever your relationship status, it is essential for a couple to communicate regarding their taxes. You (or your attorneys) should discuss whether you will be filing married, filing jointly or married, filing singly. You must decide which party will claim head of household and which parent will claim the children as dependents.
If you have dependents and pay for at least 50% of the costs of maintaining a home, you may qualify to claim head of household. This means that it is possible for your children to live with your ex-spouse in a home that you mostly pay for and you be allowed to claim head of household.
If you and your spouse share equal custody of your children, it is important to discuss who will claim what on your tax returns. If you only have one child, you may want to alternate the tax deduction every year. However you work it out, it is important to get on the same page so you do not get audited.
To avoid trouble at tax time, it is important to let us help. We can help you negotiate with your ex-spouse (or her lawyer) and to ensure that your best interests are protected.
Contact the knowledgeable attorneys at the Men’s Divorce Law Firm. Our office is located in Orlando, Florida, but we proudly serve husbands and fathers across the State.