How To File Taxes If You Received Divorced This 12 months

Whether or not a shock or a very long time coming, the dissolution of marriage modifications each side of your life — together with the way you file your taxes. When you acquired divorced in 2022, every thing out of your submitting standing (you filled out a new W-4, right?) to the way you declare dependents must be adjusted. What’s extra, you’ll have issues like youngster assist, alimony funds, and division of property to account for as effectively.

Briefly, once you’re submitting taxes after divorce, there are a variety of elements to think about and a variety of inquiries to ask (Are you submitting as single or head of family? Are you able to reap the benefits of the Baby Tax Credit score?) So, to assist hold you on monitor this tax season and put together you for all of the methods your state of affairs has modified, listed below are some details to know.

1. Adjusting Your Submitting Standing

Within the occasion of a divorce, the primary and arguably most evident change is your submitting standing. The IRS offers 4 totally different submitting statuses: Married Submitting Collectively, Married Submitting Individually, Head of Family, and Single. Married tax filers can select any of them aside from single.

After your divorce is finalized, your choices are restricted to Head of Family submitting and Single submitting. In case you are legally separated however not but divorced, you might be able to select Married Submitting Individually. Paul Miller, Managing Associate and CPA at Miller & Co, LLP in New York Metropolis, emphasizes understanding your selections, because the “change can have an effect on an individual’s normal deduction, tax charges, and eligibility for sure credit and deductions.”

Single taxpayers could file as Single whether or not or not they’ve dependents. Usually, the non-custodial guardian of a kid of divorce will file as Single until there are kids from one other marriage residing of their house greater than part-time.

Single submitting standing offers the bottom normal deduction and narrowest tax brackets of any of the obtainable submitting statuses leading to the next taxable revenue and fewer alternatives for credit and deductions. When you’re divorced and didn’t preserve youngsters for almost all of the 12 months, you’re required to file as Single.

Head of Family submitting standing is reserved for single taxpayers who’ve at the very least one dependent and pay for at the very least half of upkeep prices for the dependent’s house. Sometimes that is the guardian with majority custody of any youngsters of the wedding. To qualify for head of family submitting, you have to be legally single or, within the case of separated {couples}, residing individually for at the very least six months.

“This standing usually leads to a decrease general tax invoice than submitting as a single taxpayer, because it offers a bigger normal deduction and decrease tax charges,” says Miller.

  • Married Submitting Individually

To make use of the Married Submitting Individually standing, you will need to nonetheless be legally married and haven’t obtained a Decree of Divorce of Order of Separate Upkeep by December 31. Estranged {couples} and {couples} who’ve lived individually for at the very least half the 12 months however with no authorized separation order can use the Married Submitting Individually standing.

Every partner recordsdata their very own return, reporting solely their revenue and claiming their very own credit and deductions. They’re solely liable for their tax legal responsibility and the only proprietor of any refunds.

Tax brackets for many who select Married Submitting Individually are narrower than these for Head of Family, leading to the next taxable revenue. Additionally, in case you use the Married Submitting Individually standing, you lose out on the overall worth of credit and deductions like student loan interest deductions and the Child and Dependent Care Credit, and might solely declare half of the usual deduction, Baby Tax Credit score, and deductions for retirement savings account contributions.

There are only some conditions the place it might be helpful to make use of the Married Submitting Individually standing, so make sure to test with a tax professional earlier than you select this standing.The IRS offers a great tool that will help you determine the correct filing status on your state of affairs.

2. Claiming Dependents

Figuring out which partner claims any dependent youngsters is the following essential step in clarifying your tax state of affairs after a divorce.

The IRS doesn’t acknowledge joint custody preparations and bases custodial parent standing on the guardian who had the kid for almost all of the 12 months. If the kid slept within the father’s house for 183 nights of the 12 months and the mom’s house for 182 nights of the 12 months, the daddy is, for tax functions, thought of the custodial guardian.

If there are a number of youngsters, every guardian can declare Head of Family if they will present documentation that every youngster spent the vast majority of the 12 months with one guardian or the opposite and that guardian supplied the vast majority of the monetary assist.

Solely the custodial guardian is entitled to assert dependent-based credit and deductions. Document retaining concerning visitation is essential because the IRS could be very choosy in relation to who claims dependents. Listed below are a number of factors to remember.

  • A baby can’t be claimed as a dependent by two totally different individuals until these individuals are married and submitting a joint tax return. So, if each you and your ex-spouse declare the identical youngster as a dependent, the return that was acquired second shall be returned.
  • When you pay medical expenses for your child, these bills could also be deductible even if you’re not thought of the custodial guardian.
  • When you and your partner can not agree on who the custodial guardian is, the IRS has a tiebreaker rule that permits the guardian with the very best adjusted gross revenue to assert the kid and qualify for dependent-based credit and deductions.

3. Making Deductions

Claiming a dependent opens up a number of helpful credit and deductions obtainable to the custodial guardian.

The CTC is a credit score of as much as $2,000 per qualifying youngster. “To qualify, the kid have to be a U.S. citizen, nationwide, or resident alien, and have to be your dependent,” mentioned Miller. “The credit score begins to section out for taxpayers with increased incomes.”

  • Earned Revenue Credit score (EIC)

The EIC is a tax credit score for low- to moderate-income taxpayers with youngsters. “Usually, the guardian with whom the kid lived for the higher a part of the 12 months is entitled to assert the EIC,” mentioned Miller. “Nonetheless, if the kid lived with every guardian for an equal variety of days throughout the 12 months, the tiebreaker guidelines apply. Below these guidelines, the guardian with the upper adjusted gross revenue (AGI) is entitled to assert the credit score.”

  • Baby and Dependent Tax Credit score

The CDCC offers the taxpayer a credit score for a proportion of kid care bills incurred whereas working or on the lookout for work. “Usually, the guardian who claims the kid as a dependent is entitled to assert the credit score,” mentioned Miller. “Nonetheless, if the kid spends equal time with every guardian, the guardian with the upper AGI [tiebreaker rule] is entitled to assert the credit score.”

4. Figuring Out Monetary Help Funds

The IRS treats youngster assist funds and alimony funds otherwise in relation to taxes, so it’s essential to maintain detailed information of quantities paid and acquired in every class.

Child support payments created from the non-custodial guardian to the custodial guardian aren’t tax deductible, and funds acquired by the custodial guardian from the non-custodial guardian aren’t taxed. Obtained youngster assist funds shouldn’t be added to your annual revenue when figuring out your adjusted gross revenue.

Baby assist funds are tax-neutral and are thought of, for the payer, as a residing expense. The non-custodial guardian can deduct some dependent medical bills, however these are itemized deductions and are thought of separate from youngster assist funds.

Alimony funds was tax-deductible for the payer and didn’t should be reported by the recipient. Since tax 12 months 2019, that is now not the case.

For divorces finalized throughout or after tax 12 months 2019, alimony shouldn’t be tax deductible by the payer, and the recipient shouldn’t be required to pay taxes on any alimony or spousal assist funds acquired.

This isn’t the case for divorces finalized earlier than 2019 — funds are tax deductible by the payer, and the recipient should report funds as taxable revenue.

In case you are required to report alimony (your divorce was finalized earlier than 2019), accomplish that within the applicable discipline in your tax prep software program. If there is no such thing as a discipline for alimony, enter it as different revenue.

5. Dividing Property & Belongings

Marital property is usually divided or transferred between spouses earlier than a divorce is finalized and is specified by the divorce settlement. Houses and different property could change names or be offered, and the proceeds divided or stored by one partner. Reporting these proceeds is important in some circumstances, however not all.

“The switch of property between spouses as a part of a divorce settlement is usually not taxable,” mentioned Miller. “Nonetheless, if the switch entails appreciated property, comparable to shares or actual property, the receiving partner could owe capital features tax in the event that they promote the property.”

If, as a part of the official divorce settlement, you and your partner resolve to promote your main residence, you could have to pay capital features tax on the proceeds of the sale. Present tax legislation permits you and your ex to exclude as much as $250,000 in acquire earlier than proceeds are taxed.

Division of retirement financial savings additionally comes into play once you file taxes after a divorce. Merely cashing out a 401(okay) or IRA to separate funds along with your partner is a nasty concept. The IRS sees that as a withdrawal, and people funds are topic to capital features tax.

The IRS offers a workaround known as the Certified Home Relations Order, which permits the receiving partner entry to retirement funds with out the paying partner being caught with a tax invoice on the switch.

If you file your taxes, taxable proceeds from the division of property ought to be reported as “different revenue” if a selected discipline shouldn’t be supplied in your tax prep software program.


So, there you may have it. Divorce means vital change in a variety of essential areas, taxes included. Educating your self on how ending a wedding impacts your tax state of affairs is vital to avoiding an disagreeable shock when tax time rolls round.

It’s additionally essential to maintain detailed and correct information of all visitation, dependent medical expense funds, and asset division all year long, as it’ll assist make sure you don’t go away any cash on the desk or within the fingers of the IRS and that you simply aren’t shocked by an enormous tax legal responsibility once you file. Good luck.