For some residents of Florida, the federal tax filing deadline is an issue to be concerned with in the midst of a contentious divorce. Essentially, tax issues can create a number of financial questions that must be resolved. The prospect of an income tax refund and how it should be divided may be a point of contention. Equally as troubling may be deciding who is responsible for paying tax debts. When soon-to-be ex-spouses are not on good terms, finding solutions to these problems can be easier said than done.
Regardless of the problems between spouses, deciding whether to file joint or separate tax returns is an important consideration. Filing a separate return could potentially insulate you from a spouse’s accounting issues.
Signing a joint tax return can be viewed as an acknowledgement that you knew and understood all the information included in the return, even if you had no input or reviewed the return before your spouse signed it.
However, the tax breaks for those filing separate returns may not be as plentiful. The deduction amounts may simply be lower for single filers as opposed to married filers. Moreover, those choosing to claim “married filing separately” status may end up in a higher tax bracket even though they are married. For example, a single, unmarried person making $75,000 would likely fall into the 25 percent tax bracket, while a married person filing separately could see taxes levied at the 28 percent bracket.
Whether tax time is a season of great anticipation or one of dread, speaking with an attorney with tax knowledge can be helpful.
Source: ABC News, “Consider Both Options: Couples Can File Jointly or Separately,” Kay Bell, Feb. 17, 2014