If you are in the midst of a divorce or are recently divorced you may be wondering about the tax consequences of legally dissolving your marriage. Some frequently asked questions about the tax implications of getting divorced are answered below, but please be aware that tax law is highly complex and that in order to receive case specific legal advice you will need to consult with a local attorney or tax expert.
Q: My divorce was finalized in November of 2017, when I file my taxes in April of 2018 should I mark my marital status as married because I was married for most of 2017?
A: This is a commonly asked question that, thankfully, has a straightforward answer. Here in the United States your marital status for tax purposes is determined by your status as of the end of the year. Therefore, if you are legally single on December 31, 2017 then you should file your taxes as a single individual.
Q: Are child support payments tax deductible?
A: There is a common misconception floating around that child support payments are tax deductible, however this is NOT the case. Therefore, be sure not to list your child support payments as deductions on your tax return or else you may find yourself in real trouble with the IRS.
Q: My ex and I share custody of our daughter, who gets to claim “head of household” status on their tax return?
A: The answer to this question is a bit complicated but Intuit TurboTax’s website provides a nice and concise summary. They note that only one parent can claim head of house status on their tax return and that in order to earn this title the parent spouse must (1) file separately from their ex, (2) have not lived together with their ex during the last six months of the tax year in question, and (3) live with a qualifying child who lived with them for more than six months out of the applicable tax year.
Q: Should alimony payments be counted as income on my tax return?
A: Yes, any alimony payments that you receive must be counted as income on your tax return.
Contact Us for Help Today
Tax law in the United States is extremely complex, particularly in the wake of a divorce. Therefore be sure to ask your divorce attorney about the tax implications of your divorce before it is finalized in order to ensure that you minimize your post-divorce tax liability wherever possible. Here at the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins we represent clients who are divorcing throughout Michigan and are careful to keep them abreast of potential tax consequences every step of the way. To find out more about our firm and what we can do for you contact our Bloomfield Hills office today at (248) 646-7980.