Major life milestones often have a major tax impact. Changes in your marital status, having a baby or adopting a child can have significant impact on your taxes. This is the place to ask questions about dependents, real estate, and other various scenarios that play a significant role in what taxes you pay.
12-14-2017 03:57 PM
My divorce will be finalized in Jan 2018.
I am stay home mom. I am PPR. My soon to be ex is paying temp support for me and CS for my minor child.
Will it be advantageous for me to file MFS or MFJ?
No nortgage. No student loan.
I am spending on attorney fees myself.
Pendente lite received in 2017.
Alimony will start after divorce is finalized in 2018.
We separated in April 2017.
Can you advise. Thanks!
12-14-2017 04:52 PM
Welcome to the H&R Block community.
Have you lived apart from your spouse for at least the last six months of 2017?
If the answer to that questions is "YES" then you may be able to file as a head of household. The most advantageous status for a married couple is MFJ. If you still live with your spouse or if they are willing to file jointly with you then that's your best option. Head of Household is just as beneficial though if you want to or need to file by yourself.
You can file as a head of household in a separation situation in which you are still legally married if:
You have a qualifying child if:
You are the custodial parent if:
The custodial parent part of this is important if you get into a situation where the other parent wants to claim the child's exemption. Whomever is the custodial parent always gets to file as head of household and claim the EIC and the dependent care credit. The non-custodial parent may claim the child's exemption, the child tax credit, and any education credit that the child is due provided that they have a signed copy of Form 8332 from the child's custodial parent.
If you use the MFS filing status then you will only be able to claim the child tax credit. The other child-related benefits are not allowed when filing MFS. If you do not qualify for the head of household exception then you must file either MFS or MFJ.
If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.
Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)