If you are like many married couples across the country, you and your spouse might have decided to call it quits after the holidays. The beginning of a new year signals fresh hope, as well as the end of unhappy things for a lot of people. While you may be looking forward to starting a new life without an unhappy marriage dragging you down, this is also the time of year to begin planning your tax filing. You and other Georgia residents who are preparing for a divorce will need to know how to prepare your tax return.
During your marriage, you most likely filed your taxes jointly, which usually offers the best tax benefits. If your divorce was final before the end of the year, your choice is easy – you will file your own taxes. If, however, you began divorce proceedings after the New Year, you will still need to file your taxes as a married couple. Your options are either married filing jointly or married filing separately. Before you jump at the chance to file separately, consider the fact that a joint tax return gives you the same financial benefits you enjoyed during your marriage.
If your divorce or legal separation took place before December 31, you should take note of the following:
- If you pay child support, you cannot deduct it from your tax return
- If you are the receiving parent, child support income is not taxed
- Alimony payments, however, are deductible from a tax return, and it is taxable
- If you are the legal custodial parent, you can take the exemption for dependents on your tax return
If you are still waiting for your divorce to be final, you may take comfort in knowing that this is the last year you should have to cooperate with your soon-to-be ex in filing taxes. The following year brings a fresh start for you, and you can look forward to next year’s tax season being in your own hands.