In the spirit of tax season, a common question is whether or not spouses, who are in the process of getting divorced, should file a joint tax return, or file separate, single tax returns. There are reasons to pursue both single and joint returns, and you should consult your divorce attorney before doing anything.
First of all, you can only file a joint return if you and your spouse haven’t been officially divorced before December 31st. Regardless of whether or not you and your spouse are separated, until the final court judgment is passed that formally ends your marriage, you are married, and therefore qualify as such when filing for tax returns.
Note that orders involving monetary support also do not affect your marital status. If both spouses agree to file a joint tax return, then on the return form you should check off married filing jointly. However, if by the end of the fiscal year, you and your spouse are divorced, you must check off either the Single box or Head of household box.
While many do not want anything to do with their spouse during the divorce process, there are some benefits to filing a joint tax return. For example, when you file jointly, sometimes you are not taxed as much, depending on both incomes, as well as your individual credit. It is best that you both consult your attorneys, and tax accountants, to see if filing together is in your best interests, and will do more good than harm financially.
If you have questions regarding filing tax returns during divorce, don’t hesitate to contact Paul E Rudder, Esq. Call 212-826-9900 to arrange an appointment today with a highly-rated New York City divorce lawyer.