The headache and stress that come with divorce can be overwhelming. The responsibility of filing taxes on top of those heavy feelings and emotions can almost be too much. Before you can file your taxes, you and your ex-spouse must determine your filing status.
Learn more about filing taxes amidst a divorce below.
Filing Status During a Divorce
Divorce affects how you file your taxes in just about every way you can imagine. Throughout your marriage, you likely did not need to change your filing status. Now that you and your former spouse are in the midst of your divorce, you will need to change the filing status on your taxes. Thankfully, the IRS has a few options for you.
Married and Filing Jointly — If you are still legally married or were on December 31st, and both parties agree, filing jointly might be the best option. Even if you and your ex were separated for part of the year, you still qualify as married as long as there is no final court judgment ending your marital status. However, if your divorce is final on the last day of the year, you cannot file jointly. Filing jointly is typically the easiest option as far as filing taxes go. You also have the lowest tax liability when you file jointly, especially when one party makes more money each year than the other.
Married and Filing Separately — If you and your spouse were married on December 31st, married and filing separately is an option when filing taxes. While every divorce is different and unique, it is usually not an ideal option for tax liability purposes. However, if you are nervous, your spouse may commit tax fraud, you may want to select this option. Another reason a divorcing couple that is still married might choose to file separately is when one party owns their own business while the other has a traditional source of income. If you and your spouse decide to file separately, you must agree on dependency deductions if applicable.
Head of Household Status — This option can be beneficial to both parties, as long as you meet the following:
- Your divorce must be finalized before the last day of the year.
- Your former spouse cannot have died before the last day of the year.
- You and your ex cannot have lived together for six or more months of the year.
- You must run a household for six or more months and have lived in the home as your primary residence.
- You cannot have been a non-resident alien for any part of the year.
Contact The Ault Firm
Divorce is a stressful and overwhelming process and does not need to be faced alone. If you are getting a divorce and need an experienced divorce attorney in the Salt Lake City or West Jordan area, contact The Ault Firm. Our knowledgeable team of legal professionals will guide you throughout this challenging time, protect your rights and interests, and answer your questions. Contact The Ault Firm today to schedule a consultation.