If a couple had roast held accounts, assets, and debts, they must divide them up into new, independent accounts. They besides need new fiscal plans and strategies, which include filing tax returns as newly unmarried people .
If you recently “ untie ” the knot, here are some things to know as you file your first tax return after divorce on your own .
Determine whether you are married or single for tax purposes
If you are even in the work of getting a disassociate and won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be legally separated on Dec. 31, you by and large must file jointly or married file individually.
If you will be legally separated or divorced by the last day of the year, you are considered one for the integral class .
To file as Head of Household, however, you may be considered unmarried even if you weren ’ metric ton legally separated or divorced by Dec. 31. generally, you ’ ll yield fewer taxes by filing as Head of Household. But you must meet the follow criteria :
- File a separate tax return from your ex-spouse
- Pay more than half the cost of keeping up your house for the tax year
- Not live in a home with your ex-spouse during the last six months of the year
- Maintain the primary home for more than half the year for your dependent child
The second gear most tax-advantageous charge status you may qualify for as a divorced person is Single .
Decide whether to file jointly or separately
If you were married on the last sidereal day of the class, you can hush file a joint recurrence with your ex-spouse. That may be easier if you paid expenses jointly .
You may have a lower sum tax placard with one joint render than if you both filed individually. That ’ south because some tax deductions, credits, and other benefits are unavailable or limited when you file individually .
occasionally, a couple pays less by filing individually. That is likely to be true if one spouse has deductions that are limited by a share of income, such as high checkup expenses .
One of the best ways to find out which filing status results in a total lower income tax charge is to enter the numbers both ways using TaxAct .
In some cases, couples in the midst of a divorce might not want to file jointly regardless of the tax consequences. For case, one of the spouses could wonder if his or her ex-spouse is honest with the IRS. As a result, they would rather not sign a joint come back to ensure they aren ’ metric ton apt for any tax duty issues down the road.
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As an alternate, they may simply want to claim their own tax refund. Both are well reasons to consider filing a separate return .
Be sure to consider unpaid taxes in the divorce agreement
The divorce court should consider all marital assets and debts in determining a settlement. Make certain your legal guidance knows about any unpaid federal or express taxes .
Try to have roast back taxes paid with marital assets, if potential. It is best to avoid owing back taxes with your ex-spouse after the disassociate is final .
Understand how alimony and child support are treated
When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( TCJA ) was signed into law, the treatment of alimony payments on a tax render changed. Under the old law, if you paid alimony, you could deduct it on your reelect. And if you received alimony, you had to report it as income on your reappearance. now, any alimony payments established as a result of a divorce finalized after 2018 are no longer tax-deductible. TCJA eliminated the deduction for alimony payments wholly. Recipients of alimony besides no retentive have to include that money in their taxable income .
If your divorce or legal interval is executed after Dec. 31, 2018, you can not deduct alimony payments on your future tax returns. You besides can not deduct them if your divorce is modified after 2018 and the alteration specifically states the TCJA treatment immediately applies. If your divorce is finalized in 2018, your alimony payments are still deductible .
child support does not qualify as alimony. Those payments are not deductible or considered taxable income .
Deduct certain costs of a divorce.
The basic costs of a divorce are not deductible. You besides can no long deduct fees paid for expenses such as tax advice relating to a divorce, determining or collecting alimony, determining estate tax consequences of property village, and appraisal and statistician fees for determining the correct sum of tax or assisting in obtaining alimony.
Determine who gets to take the dependency exemptions.
If one rear has custody of a child, the custodial parent ( for the greater character of the year ) by and large claims the addiction exemption and the Child Tax Credit for the modification child .
however, a custodial parent can allow the non-custodial rear to take the exemption and Child Tax Credit by signing mannequin 8332 .
typically, only the custodial parent may claim the gain income credit rating because the child must meet the residency screen, which means the child must have lived with the parent for more than six months of the class .