Three common tax implications of going through a divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2023 | Divorce

Divorce can bring about significant tax consequences that might not be top of mind for someone going through the process. While taxes may not be your immediate concern, the decisions made during divorce proceedings can have lasting effects on your financial situation. By understanding the following tax considerations, you can make informed decisions that safeguard your financial well-being in the aftermath of divorce.

Marital status

When you are legally married, you have the option to file your taxes jointly or separately. Joint filing often provides certain benefits. You may get a lower tax rate and eligibility for various credits and deductions. However, in the event of a divorce, your filing status changes and you can no longer file jointly. This shift can impact your tax liability. It can potentially lead to a higher tax burden, especially if you are accustomed to the benefits of joint filing.

Alimony payments

Generally, alimony payments are deductible for the payer’s spouse. It also must be included as taxable income for the recipient spouse. However, there are important exceptions to this rule. For example, payments made under agreements executed after 2018 or modified after 2018 may not be deductible.

It is important to report and document these payments to avoid penalties accurately. If you paid taxable alimony, you can deduct that amount from your income on your tax return. This is even if you do not itemize deductions. Just make sure to fill out the appropriate forms (such as Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR) to avoid penalties. On the other hand, if you are on the receiving end, you must include that amount as income on your tax return and give your Social Security number or ITIN to the payer to avoid penalties.

Division of assets

During a divorce, the spouses may need to divide assets such as the family home, investments, retirement accounts and businesses. It is crucial to consider the tax consequences of these divisions. For example, transferring ownership of certain assets may trigger capital gains taxes or other tax liabilities. Seeking professional guidance from a tax expert or attorney can help you understand the potential tax implications and devise a strategy to minimize their impact on your financial situation.

These tax implications can impact your assets and finances for years to come. So, it is essential to consider this aspect of divorce carefully. Taking the time to address taxes during divorce can save you from potential financial burdens. It helps ensure a smoother transition to your new financial reality.

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