As if getting divorced, isn’t stressful enough, this time of year as additional factors situations that must be considered. Most notably, parties must determine how they the file their taxes. First, let me say that I am not a tax professional, and cannot give my clients tax advice, and I will not provide any tax advice in this post. I strongly advise anyone to consult with an experienced tax profession if you at any stage of the divorce process.
Generally speaking, it is advisable for parties to file a joint return when allowed as there are advantageous built into the tax code that are not available under the alternative filing designations. A joint return is permissible for any year in which you were married at the end of the calendar year. This means that if a Complaint for Divorce was filed in 2022 but your case was not finalized in 2022 you can still file a joint return. Should the divorce be finalized in 2023, you can no longer file a joint return.
It is important that you are aware of and understand the information being supplied on a joint return. Do not simply sign a return that is presented to you as you can be held liable for any violations of state and federal tax codes.
Post-divorce it is important that your tax filings comport with any provisions of your settlement agreement or judicial determination as to who can claim the children, who is responsible for taxes on the sale of the marital residence or the transfer of other assets. You may find yourself responsible for filing your own taxes for the first time in a long time after your divorce. Begin the process early and work with your tax professional to make sure they are done correctly.
Divorce is complicated. Taxes are complicated. Working with both an experienced matrimonial attorney and a skilled tax professional can be invaluable.