Tax day is April 18. If your 2021 tax year included a divorce, it will likely play a major role in your tax filing. Keeping the following tips in mind can help you protect your legal and financial interests as you take this step in your post-divorce life.
Your Filing Status
Your marital status at the end of 2021 is the determining factor in how you will file your tax return. Are you the custodial parent of your child? If so, you may be able to file as head of household. Otherwise, if you were single before midnight on December 31, you will file as single.
Your Child Support or Alimony
Are you paying support? Your child support payments are not tax-deductible, and your spousal support payments are only tax-deductible if your divorce was final by the end of 2021. If you are receiving spousal support, you must claim it if your divorce was final by the end of 2021. Child support received is not considered income for tax purposes.
Your Ability to Claim Dependents
Check your divorce decree to see if there are any orders regarding which parent can claim the children as dependents. If not, the default is that the custodial parent can claim them. If your ex is threatening to wrongfully claim, beat them to the punch by getting your taxes filed as soon as possible.
Your Withholding Information
Does your W4 on file with your employer represent your current situation? Now is the time to update that with an eye on next year’s tax filing.