When you are going through a divorce in Ohio, there is a lot you must think about in terms of finances and how your divorce will affect them. One financial implication of divorce that many couples do not consider is how the separation will affect their taxes. The US Tax Center at IRS.com has some very helpful advice for soon-to-be-divorced couples who wish to save this upcoming tax season.
If you are in the process of divorce, the IRS recommends holding off until after the new year to finalize it. This is because a couple who files "married filing jointly" enjoys greater tax exemptions, tax credits and tax deductions than single individuals or those who file as "married filing separately." Because you are still married, the IRS allows you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse to file a joint return, even if only one spouse earned an income this year.
Though the extra credits, exemptions and deductions may seem appealing, you should also bear in mind that individuals who file jointly may also be jointly responsible for any taxes, interest and penalty owed. If all income was earned by one spouse, a judge may order the non-working spouse to take over half of the responsibility for the debt. Moreover, if one spouse owes back taxes, the IRS may apply the return earned by the other spouse to the one spouse's tax debt.
If you and your spouse are going through a bitter divorce, it may be best to consult with a tax attorney who can advise you on how to minimize risks. The right lawyer can ensure that each party is responsible for only the obligation of his or her filing.
The information in this post is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as legal advice.