At this time of year, many people are getting ready to file their taxes and are gathering all of their records and financial documents together. For those who have recently divorced, this can be a new challenge. Filing taxes after divorcing in Florida is going to be a bit different than when you were married. With that being said, one of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to not wait until the last minute. If you do, you could find yourself facing a looming deadline you cannot meet!
One of the most common questions we are asked is, “How should I file my taxes? Married, single, head of household?” Many people finalize their divorce in the last half of the year, so they were married for the majority of the previous year. It stands to reason why a person would question how they file. In the state of Florida, you will file based on your marital status on the last day of the year. Even if you were married for 11 and half months of the year, you must file a separate return from your ex-spouse. For this reason, many divorcing couples choose to wait to have the divorce finalized after the beginning of the year, allowing them to file together one last year.
Perhaps one of the bigger problems that newly divorced couples face after divorce and during tax filing season is who gets to deduct what, and who gets to claim certain items? This issue can quickly escalate to an argument that may cause bitter feelings and anger. Here are a few tips to help in calculating taxes after separation pertaining to what you can and cannot claim:
1. Assets you gained during the divorce are generally not taxable..
2. You cannot deduct legal fees related to your divorce.
3. If you are receiving alimony, you must report it as taxable income; if you are paying alimony, you should claim it as a deduction.
4. Donations can be split, so each party can claim fifty percent of the donations made during the past year.
5. If children are involved, only one parent can claim the child as a dependent.
· Upon your divorce becoming final, be sure to file a new W-4 with your employer, this can make it a bit easier come tax season.
· File a Form 8822: Change of Address when filing your taxes (if you moved), especially if you expect to receive your refund in the mail from the IRS.
· If you changed your name as part of the divorce, be sure your report it to the Social Security Administration before you file your tax return.
Tax season can be stressful, but add in a new divorce, and it can become even more stressful. You can talk with a tax specialist or accountant for most issues you have. Here at the Norman Law office, we can also help with tax questions related to your divorce.