Filing your taxes is rarely an easy or straightforward process, but the usually pesky process can become downright thorny after divorce. Your local Georgia attorneys at Family Matters Law Group understand that this is challenging and confusing, and we’re here to help. While you may also need to consult an accountant, we can guide you to start on the right path.
How Do You File Taxes After a Divorce?
The following guide provided by the IRS is an invaluable resource for filing during a separation, a divorce that has not yet been finalized, or after your divorce. Take some time to review the Tax Guide for Divorced or Separated Individuals. It’s a great place to start learning the ins and outs of filing according to your current marital status.
What Tax Status Should You File?
You will be considered unmarried for the whole year, no matter when your divorce was finalized, if it occurred on or before December 31. Accordingly, you would file as single. However, you may be able to claim a higher standard deduction if you spent part of the year still living with and supporting your children or your spouse. You also may file as head of household if you covered more than half of the bills for your home and had your child(ren) living with you for at least six months out of the past year.
Who Claims Any Children?
A custodial parent is the one that the children live with for the most amount of time. Therefore the custodial parent will usually be the one to claim the child(ren) as a dependent(s). However, the non-custodial parent may claim the child(ren) as a dependent(s) if they contributed half of the support. The other circumstance where the non-custodial parent can claim the dependents is if the custodial parent has written and signed a decree or declaration permitting it.
It is vital to avoid both parents claiming the kids as dependents, as it can trigger an audit by the IRS. So, agreeing with your former spouse is of utmost importance. If there is hostility or resistance on behalf of your ex, consulting with an attorney for mediation may be necessary. That is where Family Matters Law Group comes in. We can sit down with both parties and hash out a cooperative agreement for all.
Are Alimony and Child Support Taxable?
The short answer is alimony is taxable, and child support is not. Alimony is tax-deductible for the spouse making the alimony payments. For the recipient of alimony, it is considered taxable income. Child support is not considered income, as it goes toward the expenses of raising your child(ren); therefore, the recipient of child support does not have to claim it on their taxes.
Who Gets the Refund, or Who Owes Taxes?
If both of you file separately, you should receive your tax refund, or alternately, one or both of you may owe taxes individually. If the divorce was not final before December 31, you need to file your taxes as married, and each of you is responsible for a portion of the tax due or receipt of a refund.
If you live in Georgia and reside in Henry, Clayton, or Fayette counties, Family Matters Law Group is here for you. Please feel free to reach out to us to schedule a consultation to address your specific concerns. You may call us at (678) 545-2118 or Contact us through our website if you prefer.