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What to know about filing taxes after a divorce

Splitting up with your spouse brings with it inevitable change, and you may find yourself adjusting to new custody arrangements, new budget constraints and even a new place to live in the aftermath of a divorce. Your needs and requirements as far as filing your taxes will also change once you officially split from your one-time partner, and recognizing how your divorce will impact your taxes may help you avoid making unnecessary errors.

So, what is it you need to know about filing your taxes after a divorce?

Anytime you make an error on your taxes, you set yourself up for processing delays. You may, too, find that making mistakes on your taxes draws the unwanted attention of the Internal Revenue Service, so the more accurate and upfront you can be when filing, the better. So, when filing taxes after divorce, take care to do the following:

  • Use the correct filing status: Married couples reap certain tax benefits, but once you split from your former partner, you will no longer be able to take advantage of certain perks. You will need to file as a single person as opposed to someone who is married and filing jointly or married and filing separately, and your marital status as of Dec. 31 of the tax year you are referencing will be the status you must file under.
  • Make timely name changes: If you took your partner’s name when you married, but you plan to revert to your former name, make sure to notify the U.S. Social Security Administration. The name you file your taxes under must match the name the administration has for you, or it can lead to hardship, processing delays and other issues.

While these are important steps to take when filing your taxes after a divorce, please note that there may be other tax implications of divorcing your spouse in addition to those listed above.

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