Filing your taxes always seems complicated, and if you were recently separated or divorce there are some changes you will want to make when filing this year’s tax documents. This is because getting a divorce impacts how you file and what tax credits you can claim.
How to file following a divorce
Many married couples file their income taxes jointly. However, if you divorced in 2021 you will not follow jointly on this year’s tax returns. You can file singly or as head of household. You may even be able to file as head of household if you are separated. If so, you can claim a larger standard deduction and you can earn more income before being placed in a higher tax bracket. You can be considered “unmarried” if you did not reside with your ex for the past six months and you paid over half of the costs of maintaining your home in 2021, you have a dependent such as a child who lived with you more than 50% of 2021 and you are filing separately from your spouse.
If you are not filing jointly as you had when you were married, only you or your ex can claim your child on your yearly income taxes. If a divorced couple has two children, each may claim one child. However, if you only have one child or an odd number of children you will have to work out who will claim which child on your income taxes. Generally, the parent with whom the child resides with most of the year claims the child as a dependent for tax purposes. In addition, you must provide over 50% of your child’s support. Note that child support paid cannot be claimed as income.
Learn more about divorce
Ultimately, if you divorced in 2021 you will want to make sure you file this year’s taxes appropriately. Your divorce can affect your filing status and who you can claim as a dependent. This may even affect what tax credits you can take advantage of. Divorce brings many changes to one’s life, including changes to the way they file their taxes.