Separated Spouses and Taxes: What you Need to Know

divorce lawyersThere are a lot of moving pieces when a couple decides to move forward with a divorce or legal separation. One of the most anxiety-inducing parts of the puzzle involves taxes post-divorce or separation. After all, including or submitting false or incorrect information to the IRS could result in a variety of penalties, fees, and more. 

We’re here to help untangle some of the mess by offering a quick overview on what to expect on your taxes if you’ve recently divorced or separated. Remember, we can’t stress enough that this is not a suitable replacement for legal advice from either a tax professional or a family law attorney. 

With that out of the way, keep the following in mind as you prepare for the upcoming 2020 tax season and beyond. 

Update Your Filing Status After the Separation!

Once you’ve separated from the ex, it is imperative that you make this distinction when filing taxes. We often hear about cases where someone still claims the other party as a dependant, or continues to file as if he/she were still married. This is usually because one party wants to reap the benefits of including the other person in their return. 

Unfortunately, the jig is almost instantly up as soon as the other person files differently. As soon as the IRS realizes that the returns don’t match up, they will be aware that a tax violation has taken place. 

Remember, as soon as you’ve legally divorced or separated from the ex, your tax return must reflect this new status.

Tax Law Violations Carry Serious Consequences 

When inconsistencies are uncovered by the IRS, you can be sure that an investigation will quickly follow. If found guilty, an individual who commits tax fraud could face steep fines, criminal charges, and much more. Furthermore, if their tax fraud impacted or involved any other parties, he/she may be liable to compensate those parties as well. 

Need More Information About How Your Divorce Impacts Taxes?

Needless to say, you should always tread very carefully when preparing your taxes. Regardless of what the ex says or tries to do with his/her taxes, always make sure you’re representing your information accurately and correctly. If you’re confused or concerned about how your divorce/separation might impact your taxes or other financial matters, make sure to connect with a qualified CA divorce attorney. 

Book a free initial consultation today. Call R & S Law Group, LLP at (949) 825-5245 to reach out to our team of experienced and trusted family law attorneys.