There are two events that can happen in a person’s life that are pretty universally considered to be complicated and frustrating: going through a divorce and filing your taxes. As if they were not complex enough separate, matters can get even more confusing or troublesome when they two of them combine, when you need to file for taxes while divorcing or having recently been divorced. If you are in this situation, try not to worry too much. Your taxes can remain relatively simple if you know what to expect ahead of time.
First and foremost, don’t forget that your filing status has probably changed – keyword: probably. If you were still married on December 31st, the IRS still sees you as married when you file for this last tax year. If you were divorced on December 30th or sooner, the IRS considers you to be divorced for the entire tax year. If your marriage ended anywhere in that last category, you can say that you are Single or the Head of Household.
Secondly, if you have any children with your spouse, properly claiming dependency over them can be a point of contention. The IRS considers that whomever spends more time with a child can claim that child as a dependent when they file their taxes; it is actually said in pretty simple language. But you might have to dissect your child custody agreement to figure out for certain who spends what amount of time and with which child. If this results in a situation that you and your ex-spouse do not favor, you both can agree on using an IRS Form 8332 to transfer dependency rights to the non-primary parent.
Lastly, there are a few aspects about that divorce that the IRS does not care to know about. Paying child support is generally not a valid deductible since the IRS believes the payer is simply doing their duty as a parent. The transfer or property from your estate to your ex’s is also not a taxable event.
Legal Counsel from York Divorce Attorneys
If you are going through a divorce and your taxes are just another concern on your agenda, allow our Lancaster divorce lawyers from Ilkhanoff & Silverstein to assist you. By making your divorce as stress-free as possible, we can also help you avoid tax-time frustrations. Call us at (717) 744-0531 to set up a case evaluation.