Taxes During A Divorce Process


One of the questions that might arise during a separation and divorce process is whether the couple should file taxes jointly or separately. After a divorce is final, filing jointly is not an option. However, if filing jointly is an option, then they might choose to do so to enjoy the benefits available.

While filing jointly during the process of ending a marriage is a possibility, a couple might opt for filing separately if as part of the separation process their assets were already divided. Another reason couples might choose to file separately is if one of the spouses was providing erroneous information, since signing a joint return means both parties are responsible. Finally, there might be special circumstances, such as when there is a large income gap between spouses and there are certain out-of-pocket expenses they wish to itemize. It might then be beneficial for the lower-income spouse to file separately in order to claim the benefits.

A divorcing couple might still choose to file jointly if they were still married on the last day of the filing year and their assets had not yet been divided. Some of the benefits the couple would then enjoy include lower tax rates at higher income, the ability to claim certain deductions, exemptions and credits.

If a couple is unsure of what they should do, but both choices are available to them, they might choose to do a trial run to check both results. Then, the couple can make an informed decision about their taxes.