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When’s the best time to divorce for tax purposes?

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2013 | Divorce

Many marriages end in divorce. When a Texas couple decides to file for divorce, there may be questions about timing, especially in regards to taxes. Toward the end of the year, does it make more sense for a couple to start the divorce proceedings right away or stick it out until after the first of the year?

Many couples choose to stick it out for tax purposes, since it is often more cost-effective to file as married rather than to file as two separate individuals. Taxes can be complicated due to the alternative minimum tax. When a couple files as married filing separately, they could end up paying twice as much in taxes. Those who have tax filing software can easily switch between the two filing types to see which one would cost more. Once this is determined, you can see if it would be better to proceed with the divorce or wait it out to get the better tax filing situation.

Another thing to think about is that if there is a balance, both parties are liable. They can’t assume that other party will pay it. This could cause further tension, but the taxes must be paid, as it’s the law. Ideally, the spouses will still be speaking to each other and able to come to a fair agreement and plan of action once it comes time to file.

Divorce comes with stress and other negative emotions. Unfortunately, tax season can add to that drama, but taxes are inevitable. Soon-to-be exes should try to to remain civil until the taxes are filed.

Source:  Chicago Tribune, “Couple wise to delay divorce until new year” Ilyce Glink & Samuel Tamkin, Dec. 21, 2013


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