Filing your taxes can be a daunting task. Taxes during or after a divorce can seem downright impossible without the right tools and information. Luckily, Houston Divorce Now is here to tell you what you need to know in order to help guide you through the process.
When filing your taxes after a divorce, the first question you may find yourself asking is, what filing status do I use? If your divorce was final before December 31, you can’t file a joint return for that year. However, you shouldn’t automatically file as a single person either. Here are some exceptions you should consider before you file:
You could qualify as head of household if you’re providing a home for a child, which could lower your tax liability.
If you divorce and remarry someone else by the end of the year, you can file a joint return with your new spouse.
Couples who are still in the process of divorce before the end of the year have the option of filing a joint return or to file as married filing separately. It's only the year your divorce decree becomes final that you lose the option to file as married joint or married separate.
Although you may be spending your money on alimony and/or child support, that doesn't mean you can write it off on your taxes. You can only report your alimony payments as a tax deduction if you finalized your divorce before or by December 31, 2018. Similarly, the recipient must report the amount as income and pay tax. If your divorce was finalized after December 31, 2018,you can’t claim a tax deduction for alimony payments.
When it comes to child support in Texas and the issue of whether it is tax-deductible, the answer is no. Child support is not considered taxable income for the parent receiving it. It’s also important to know that you cannot list it on your tax return. It doesn’t matter how little or how much you pay every month, the IRS looks at child support payments as a personal expense and it is treated as such when it comes to your taxes.
Also, Spouses can no longer deduct legal fees or any expenses related to divorce like they could before as they are now considered personal expenses under the law. The IRS prohibits any deduction for the cost of legal advice, legal counseling, and legal action in a divorce. However, if your ex-spouse is deliberately increasing your divorce costs, your divorce attorney can ask the judge to order your spouse to pay your legal fees.
Although this may be a good start to understanding your taxes after divorce, do not hesitate to talk to our legal team. Let our team of experts help you with any additional questions about your taxes as a divorced spouse, alimony, or child support. Be sure to keep a positive mindset as you start to look at your divorce finances and taxes. You are paying to find your happiness and that itself is worth every penny.