Divorce is never easy and navigating a divorce while trying to do your taxes can feel impossible. If you are recently divorced, this tax year will be a little different from others and it might be a little trickier than previous years have been for you. The important thing is to file your tax return and try to file it as correctly as you can. If you need help, get a tax professional. They will be able to help you navigate the new tax situation. If you want to do it on your own, here are some things to keep in mind.
Your filing status is based on your marital status at the end of the calendar year. That means if you are divorce by midnight on December 31st, you will be filing separately from your former spouse. It doesn’t matter if you were married for most of the year, you will now file as single or Head of Household for that year. Your status will be either single filer or if you are the custodial parent for your children, you could possibly qualify for the Head of Household status. You can claim head of household if you have a qualifying dependent and provide more than half of their support. You can learn more about Head of Household status here.
If you have a child or children when you divorce, there may be a custody or child support agreement. If there is a child support agreement, it’s important to know that child support payments are not tax deductible for the payer. The receiver of child support does not need to claim the payments as income on their taxes. When deciding who claims your child on their taxes, you can either put that decision in the divorce settlement or the parent who has full custody of the child. If you have joint custody, then the parent who has the child the greatest number of days during the tax year gets to claim the child as a dependent. If you think that your ex-partner might try to claim your child despite you being entitled to claiming them, file your tax return first.
Make sure to also check with your employer on your taxes and make sure your withholding’s account for your new filing status and income. If you need help with your new status or need help filing your federal tax return, Polston Tax can help. Our tax team can walk you through the new the filing status and all the tax deductions you can either now take or can no longer use. Don’t stress over the change, know there are people out there to help. Call us today at 844-841-9857 or click below to schedule a free consultation!