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A divorce can impact tax filings

As April 15 approaches, people in Ohio and across the country are likely trying to pull together tax information in order to ensure they meet the federal deadline. For many people, taxes are a complex headache. For those who have recently been granted a divorce, there are some special considerations.

In many cases, filing jointly or "married filing separately" might be the best option. If a marriage was finalized prior to Dec. 31 the year before the taxes are filed, the couple cannot file under either of these options. However, a couple whose divorce is finalized after that date, but before April 15, can do so. If the couple chooses this option, deductions related to spousal support cannot be claimed.

Additionally spousal or child support can impact income tax filings. A person who receives alimony must pay taxes on the money received while the person paying it can claim it as a deduction. On the other hand, a person paying child support can not claim it as a deduction, and the parent receiving it does not have to pay taxes on it. Typically, the custodial parent claims any children as a dependent, but other agreements could be made.

While a divorce in Ohio could make filing taxes slightly more complicated, there is help available to guide people through the process.  Staying in an unhappy marriage can create more complications than filing for taxes, with both people feeling miserable and wanting to seek a happier life. While it is a decision that requires careful consideration, it is often one that is in the best interest of everyone involved.

Source: 11alive.com, "Six tax tips for the newly divorced", Jennifer Leslie, March 20, 2015

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