Filing Your Taxes During Your Divorce
Under ideal circumstances, it can be very complicated to file your personal income taxes correctly. If you are in the midst of a divorce, the situation can quickly become even more complex. As this year's tax season gets underway, there are a few things to keep in mind that could helpful if you are in the middle of a divorce or your divorce recently finalized.
You Probably Have Choices
The Internal Revenue Service offers taxpayers the ability file their annual tax returns several different ways. Those who are legally married typically have the most options. Legally married refers to your marital status on December 31 of the tax year in question. As such, even if you filed your petition for divorce before the end of the year, you are still legally married until the process is finalized and your judgment is formally entered by the court.
If you were still married on December 31, you may file your taxes as “married, filing jointly.” Depending on the nature of your case, you could also file as “married, filing separately,” but your tax liability will probably be lower if you choose to file jointly. Filing as “head of household” is also possible, and your tax advisor can help determine which is right for your situation. It is important to remember that if you file a joint return, you and your spouse will need to cooperate in the filing process and agree to what is included on the return. You cannot file a joint return without notifying your spouse and getting him or her to sign the filing.
Managing Your Refund
While your income tax refund is not considered new income, it is considered marital property for the purposes of your divorce. As such, neither you or your spouse can simply claim the refund. Instead, you and your spouse are advised to reach an agreement regarding how the refund will be used and/or divided.
Call Us for Guidance
If you are going through a divorce this tax season, it is important to understand the law and your available options. Contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney to discuss your case and let us provide the assistance you need. Call 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation at MKFM Law today.