Filing your taxes is hard enough without a divorce. With a divorce, especially a recent one, it can get even trickier. In many cases, it may be better to seek the advice of a tax professional. However, if you plan to file on your own, here are a few things you should understand.
It can be difficult to file taxes if you're in the middle of a divorce or it was just finalized. It's an unrewarding task very few enjoy. However, you still need to make sure you file or you could find yourself in a legal mess.
When a divorce involves children, filing taxes can be tricky. You must be apart from your spouse for at least 6 months to receive the Earned Income Credit for yourself as the head of the household. However, you may be able to file jointly with your separated spouse to get his credit.
You cannot split the dependency exemption and the benefit of the exemption for children will go to the parent with majority custody. However, with the Form 8332, this can be passed to the other parent.
The legal fees of your divorce are not tax deductible. However, if you used some of these fees for tax advice, that specific portion is tax deductible. Personal legal expenses won't earn you any type of deduction no matter what they were used for.
Make sure you understand all the different tax laws and forms for your specific situation before filing. If it's too overwhelming for you, it may be better to pay a professional to handle your taxes this year. It will get easier and with the help of a professional, you can gain a better understanding of how your new tax situation will work in the future.