Taxes and Divorce

Taxes and divorce.  Only 28 more days to till Tax Day!

Being divorced or going through a divorce  impacts your taxes.  Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind while doing your taxes.

Marital status changes tax filing status.  Your marital status on December 31 of the year you are filing tax returns for determines your filing status.  This means that if you are not divorced on that date you can use only one of two filing statuses for married couples: married filing jointly or married filing separarely.

Once you are divorced you could qualify to file as head of household if you maintain the cost of keeping up your home and you have a dependent living in your house for more than half of the year.  If you do not meet those conditions, you will file as single.

Change your name.  The IRS needs to know if you changed your name with Social Security.  Your name on the tax return must match what the Social Security Administration has on file.  If it doesn't, it could take longer to process your return and delay your refund.

Tax accountant.  If you share a tax professional after you are divorced, be sure that you sign a written waiver of a conflict of interest.  The tax pro is required to disclose any confict of interest that may arise in a post divorce situation.

Household help.  Paying any household help?  Then you probably have an EIN number on which you report wages and taxes.  EIN numbers are attached to one person's Social Security number.  Get a new EIN number if the existing one is attached to your X and  you are going to contiune to pay wages to your household help.  It is easy to get an EIN number.  Go to and enter "EIN" in the search box.  You can get one in minutes.

Finally, everyone's tax situation is unique.  Discuss your facts and circumstances with your tax professional.


Disclosure:  Part of this article was based on an article provided to me by the tax prep company that I work for.  The one with the big green block!

Follow me on Twitter @DivorceChicagoS





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    I filed for a divorce in 2003. I had no idea that ELEVEN years on, that I would still be in divorce-related litigation. There have been two trials, an appellate court decision affirming the original trial decision, numerous other hearings, depositions and more. A second appellate court decision is pending. I write mostly from the woman's point of view. Or rather, the spouse who stayed home and raised the children, the one who gave up a career. When first married, I worked as a law librarian and do have a law degree but never practiced. Having that law degree has given me insights into the often mysterious ways of the legal system, especially in Cook County. Recently I have reactivated my law license, became an Enrolled Agent [a license given by the IRS after taking a series of tests] and prepare tax returns. Please share your experiences or ask me questions. Email me at Follow me on Twitter for articles and and news about Illinois Appellate Court divorce related decisions.

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