How to File Your Taxes After a Divorce

Another way of obtaining relevant information would be to contact the family accountant, who should be able to provide copies of previous returns. Yet another option is to contact the IRS and acquire Form 4506. By executing and returning this form and returning it to the IRS, they will make available all SIGNED copies. The IRS also makes several informational publications available that can provide key advice to persons going through a divorce.

The most significant of these publications would be:

* Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals

* Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deductions, and Filing Information

* Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals

* Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax

* Publication 552, Record keeping For Individuals

* Publication 555, Community Property (for those living in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin)

Once the estimates are completed, it is now time to make one of the most important decisions of the entire divorce : how will you file your taxes?

How Will You File Your Taxes?

To be eligible to file under "Married filing jointly" status, you and your spouse must be legally still married (even if you are living apart) as of the last day of the tax year, December 3 1. To qualify for "Married filing separately" status, you must still be legally married as of the last day of the tax year. Finally, to file under "Single" status, you must be legally unmarried or legally separated as of December 31 and not eligible for "Head of Household" status. Head of Household would be defined as either a single person who provided more than half of the household maintenance costs AND whose household is the principal residence (defined as being more than one half of a year) of at least one dependent. If you are married but have lived physically apart on or prior to July I of the tax year, you must employ "Married filing separately" status.

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