There are numerous changes to your life you need to make after a divorce, but there is one aspect people tend to overlook: taxes. If you divorced before December 31st of the previous tax year, then you need to change how you fill out your forms.
While your divorce attorney will help you get through the separation, you may need to rely on the services of a professional accountant to ensure you do not make any mistakes on your taxes after a divorce. You need to make sure you change your filing status to “single person.” However, that is just the beginning.
Alimony and child support
If you received alimony last year, then it is taxable for the year you got it. You may need to make estimated tax payments throughout the year to avoid any penalties, but an accountant can tell you more about this. In the event you paid alimony, you can use those payments as itemized deductions. You will need your former spouse’s Social Security number to deduct those payments properly.
The person paying child support cannot deduct those payments. It is also not taxable for the individual receiving it.
Only one parent can claim the child as a dependent. If the divorce agreement names you as the custodial parent, meaning the child spends a majority of the time with you, then you would be able to claim the dependent. There are certain other credits the custodial parent can utilize, including education credits and the Child Tax Credit.
This is a simple thing many people still overlook. If you changed your name after the divorce was final, then you need to inform the Social Security Administration of the change. When there is a mismatch of names in the SSA’s records, then you may have to deal with a delay in receiving your tax refund.