How Divorce Proceedings Impact Tax Returns

As you already know, filing taxes is a complicated financial process affected by several seemingly insignificant decisions; unfortunately, you can add “divorce” to the list of tax influencers. However, the Law Offices of Christopher L. Hoglin is here to help you see how your divorce may (or may not) affect your tax return.

How Divorce Impacts Filing Status

Ongoing Divorce

The first thing to note about divorce and your filing status: ongoing divorce proceedings will not impact filing statuses. Therefore, if a judge doesn’t finalize your divorce by the end of the tax year (December 31st) in question, then you and your spouse will either file as married filing jointly or married filing separately.

Finalized Divorce

A finalized divorce can impact your filing status depending on when the judge finalizes your divorce. The overall rule of filing is that you and your spouse must be married through the end of the filing year to file as married. Therefore, if a judge finalizes your divorce on January 1st, then you will submit your taxes as married for the previous tax year.

When a judge finalized your divorce before the end of the tax year, then you and your spouse will file as either single or head of household. Therefore, if your divorce is finalized on December 29th, then you and your spouse cannot file as married for that entire tax year.

Head of Household

If you and your spouse divorce before the December 31st deadline, you may be able to file as head of household, but there are a couple of requirements you must meet to file as head of household.

The three requirements you must meet when filing as head of household:

  • You must be unmarried or considered unmarried for the tax year;
  • You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the tax year;
  • You took care of a qualifying dependent for more than six months of the tax year.

Don’t Let Taxes Get in Your Way

If you’re worried about your divorce impacting your taxes, our San Marino family law firm can help you think through your options. We offer free consultations for all potential clients, which means an initial phone call doesn’t cost you a thing!

Need help with your divorce? Call (626) 653-4075 now for a free consultation!

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