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Divorce may complicate filing tax returns

Getting divorced affects all areas of your life, including your finances. Now that it is tax season, you may need to focus on ensuring that you file your taxes correctly. If you make mistakes, you could face serious consequences from the Internal Revenue Service.

You may already feel that filing your taxes is complicated enough, but your change in marital status could make things more difficult. Fortunately, with help and the right information, you can set yourself on the path of filing your taxes with the correct information in a timely manner, so that you avoid unnecessary penalties and mistakes.

Filing status

You may wonder whether you need to file as married or single for your 2018 return that you will file this year. The date of your finalized divorce will determine that piece of information. Specifically, if the court did not issue your finalized divorce order by Dec. 31, you will file as married for your 2018 tax return. If you received your divorce order on or before Dec. 31, you will file as single.

Of course, you may want to remember that your filing status could affect your taxes in many ways. It is possible for your tax bill to increase when you file as a single person, so you may want to discuss this and other possibilities with a tax professional.

Claiming dependents

Claiming dependents is an important part of filing taxes, and if you have children, you have likely obtained tax breaks by claiming them as dependents. However, if you falsely claim a dependent on a tax return or if more than one person claims the same dependent, serious issues could result. Therefore, you may want to determine whether you or the other parent may claim the children. Discussing this ahead of time could prevent both of you claiming the same child when you file separate returns.

You may dread filing your taxes during or after divorce. Fortunately, you do not have to try to figure out the right information on your own. Working with an Oregon tax attorney could allow you to understand how your divorce will influence your taxes and how you can work to avoid mistakes when filing. Utilizing the help of such a professional could give you greater peace of mind that you have properly followed tax filing procedures.

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