When you're filing taxes after or during your divorce, you may have some questions in mind. Here are some tax tips from the IRS for couples who are going through a divorce:
Filing status. Your marital status on Dec. 31 determines your filing status. If you are considered legally divorced on Dec. 31, you can file as single or head of household. However, if you're in the process of divorce, you may want to file a joint return instead of filing as married filing separately. You'll both get lower taxes if you file jointly. It's one thing that's a win-win for both parties, and an opportunity to cooperate.
Alimony. If your divorce was finalized before 2019, you can deduct alimony payments you make to your ex-spouse. The receiver must pay tax on the income.
Children. If you are filing separately, both of you cannot claim your children as dependents in any given year. If you are the custodial parent (having custody of the children most of the time) it is generally your right to claim them as dependents. However, this is another area that couples may choose to cooperate on, especially if the non-custodial parent is diligently making child support payments.