How To File Taxes Together After a Divorce

Tax paying is a responsibility of every citizen. Your taxes help finance the government's projects in constructing schools, hospitals and establishments that will benefit the people. Couples can pay separately or jointly. If you're legally divorced, then you can file your taxes as single. Before filing your tax, make sure that you know the best method that will good for you and your former partner. By doing so, it will decrease the burden for both of you especially when you have children.

Tips on How to File Taxes Together after a Divorce:

  • Save any records of "open" tax year returns. This includes the documents used to make the returns. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can examine the returns for three years only after filing. Every four years, make sure to keep copies of returns at the end of the tax year. It is for special purposes like loans or anything that has to do with taxes.
  • Verify your filing status. See the IRS standards regarding your status. Single filing is only allowed if the divorce is final. Having children is also a big factor in filing taxes. If ever you and your former spouse do not have a child, you may pick separate filing or jointly filing. Couples usually choose to file their last return jointly to come up with a small tax liability. Nevertheless, both groups are liable for the 100 percent tax due. If a party has failed to pay the tax liability, the IRS will pass the balance to the other. If you have a child, have the custodyand lived away from your house on the last six months of tax year, you can use the Head of the House status. It is an advantage because their tax rate is lower than other filing status.
  • Read your separation agreement and divorce decree. By reading, you will know the rules and custody of your child (if ever you have any). The children's custody is important, because of the Head of the House status. Divorce decree and Form 8332 determines whose parent can claim dependent children. The non-custodial parent can get their children if the custodial parent sign the Form 8332 and bond a copy to the tax return of non custodial parent every year. If ever the custodial parent wants to cancel it, just cancel the permission but it takes a year to implement.
  • Fill up a new W-4 form. This will indicate your new status in paying your tax.Your filing status depends if you marry another person in the same year you commit the divorce. If you don't, then you will choose either head of the household or single filer. Also file a Form SS-5 for any changes in the name of a family member.
  • Check your Alimony. Alimony is a financial aid between divorced couples. Only couples who are married legally have the right to alimony. The payments are usually stated in the divorce decree, which determines what kind of payment it is. It can either be child support or alimony. It is often ruled that the child support must come first before the alimony.


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