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How does the divorce process affect my federal income taxes?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2020 | Firm News, Property Division |

A new year has just dawned and with it the start of income tax season. You filed for divorce in Georgia last year, but the process has not finished. Knowing how that affects the way you file income taxes is important. 

Intuit TurboTax provides separated couples some tips to filing their income taxes. Unfortunately, not all of these choices are yours alone to make. For some options, you may need to discuss things with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Keep in mind that if you remained married on Dec 31, you must file as married filing jointly or separately. 

If you can communicate effectively with your spouse, you can file a joint tax return. A joint return offers some deductions not available in a married filing separately return. If you can work together, you can look at both options and determine what saves you the most money. 

However, if you and your spouse have difficulty communicating, you may want to file married filing separately. While you do not get the same tax deductions, you do not have legal liability for your spouse’s tax return. Keep in mind that both of you either have to take itemized or standard deductions. One cannot do itemized while the other does standard. 

There are other tax implications you should be aware of before filing. Legal fees from your divorce attorney are not tax-deductible. If you file married filing separately, you lose out on the higher education tax and earned income credits. 

Each marital separation is different. This information is intended only to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.