How Should I file Taxes if Divorce is not Final?
Separating from your spouse is not an easy experience. You must still go through your daily routine, such as going to work and filing your taxes on time. However, one question that many people struggle is how to file taxes when they are in the process of getting a divorce. The federal laws apply in such cases and here are a few important elements to help you file the right way:
The Filing Status
An important factor is the filing status that you have been using in Illinois. The IRS uses state-based laws for declaring whether you are married or single. This means that you may be treated as a couple during the divorce process. The problem is complicated if you used to file jointly for the previous years.
This creates a position where you may not have the right information available about what tax credits you may deserve. However, the IRS also allows you to file independently even if you are legally married. To make matters simple, we suggest you seek advice from a reputed family lawyer in Illinois before filing.
Regardless of the legal status of your marriage, you can always choose to file separately. The end of the year defines the legal status of marriage according to the IRS. The concept of separate maintenance applies to you in this case, allowing you to go through with the filing. However, remember that you may lose some tax credits and refunds when you apply separately.
The Right Choice
If your divorce is not final by December 31st of a year, it may be hard to provide documented proof to the IRS that you are not married anymore. The right choice for the filing status in such a case remains that you file as, “married filing separately”. This allows you to file separately regardless of your marital status. However, it is best to seek the advice from an experienced lawyer in Illinois as the situation often depends on the practices in individual counties.
Always obtain copies of previous tax records and any financial details that are important for filing with the IRS. Share them with your tax lawyer to obtain the best advice on filing. You may often find yourself troubled with underpayment or overpayment when filing separately for the first time, because the adjustments from your previous tax returns may change depending on your filing status.
How to Avoid This Situation
Seek advice from your divorce lawyer on how you can expedite the separation process to avoid this situation. There are a few ways in which you can mutually reach an agreement with your ex-spouse that will allow for a swift resolution of this issue. Discussing this important topic with your legal representative should always be your priority and will ensure that you avoid problems that you face when you file separately for the first time.
Still not clear about how to approach your tax filing? Contact Cesario & Walkers today at 630-920-8800 to schedule an initial consultation and discuss your case.