When going through a divorce, parties may be faced with an approaching deadline for filing taxes. When married, most people ordinarily file a joint tax return unless living separately. However, if filing for divorce, a joint tax return can be tricky. With divorce and joint tax returns, both parties agree the return contains correct information.
It is true that filing jointly can come with various tax benefits. To find out the pros and cons, it is essential to talk to a certified professional accountant.
But when signing a joint tax return, both parties are agreeing to their income — in a joint and individual sense. Calculating child support or spousal support requires these income numbers. It is hard, if not impossible, for a party to come into court and later dispute these figures if they have signed the joint tax return.
In some cases, one party might have a concern that their spouse is overstating or understating their income. They also might be concerned about various other components of the tax return itself, in terms of its truthfulness and accuracy.
If the divorce case involves a family business or other non-traditional assets, tax returns can get complicated. In these circumstances, while there is a tax benefit associated with filing jointly, this could be the reason to file separately. The tax return should note that the couple is married but living apart. Otherwise, a party could end up being audited or, worse, get in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service.
For parties going through a divorce, it is vital not to blindly sign a joint tax return. Instead, seeking out the advice of a certified public accountant before making the decision is important. A divorce lawyer may also assist in the case of divorce and joint tax returns.
If you are going through a divorce or family law matter where a tax return is at issue, you can contact Stange Law Firm, PC. We have St. Louis divorce lawyers who can assist.