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How divorce impacts a person's tax status

When Pennsylvania couples get divorced, it may have an impact on their tax status. One of those changes revolves around their filing status. The IRS considers the divorce to occur in the tax year in which the marriage officially ends. For instance, if the divorce was official before the end of 2017, an individual could not use the married filing jointly or married filing single statuses.

While some may qualify for head of household status, most will file as single after the divorce becomes official. If a divorcing couple had children, only one parent is allowed to claim the dependent exemption. Tax law says that the custodial parent claims it by default. However, an agreement may be reached that allows the noncustodial parent to claim it. Furthermore, only one parent is allowed to claim the child tax credit, and only the person who got the house in a divorce may claim a mortgage interest deduction.

Those who make alimony payments will be able to claim it as a tax deduction on their Form 1040. This applies whether or not they itemize their deductions. Those who receive alimony payments will need to claim them as income. To qualify as alimony, a payment must be made in cash and as part of a divorce agreement.

It may be possible for emotions to run high during a divorce. Therefore, those who are getting divorced may not necessarily think of the tax implications that it may cause. By talking to an attorney, it may be possible to get a better idea of how a person's tax situation and finances in general may change when a marriage ends.

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