Your Life

Your Life

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.

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Pioneer
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-13-2017

getting divorce

my divorce is suppose to be finished on dec.11. Lawyers have brought up waiting to finalize divorce in jan instead. That way I can claim married all year, is there any real benefit from doing this.

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Tax Pro
Posts: 5,780
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: getting divorce

Hi kbslayer51,

 

 

Welcome to the H&R Block community.

 

Yes, there are many advantages to filing jointly.  The only way there wouldn't be an advantage to filing jointly would be if your soon-to-be ex-spouse won't file a joint return with you.

 

When you file jointly with your spouse you generally get a lower tax rate, a bigger standard deduction, two or more personal exemptions on the same return, all of your deductions & credits combine on one return, and more.  All of that put together means lower tax liability.

 

If you are legally married at the end of the year but cannot file a joint return with your spouse then you have to use the "married & filing separately" status.  When you file MFS there are limitations on numerous items, and your tax rate is higher.  You also get 1/2 of the joint standard deduction and at least one less personal exemption.  Filing separately can occasionally be beneficial when you're married if one or both of you and your spouse has a high income (as in more than $75,000) because in that scenario filing MFS may drop one or both of you into a lower tax bracket and allow you to claim some deductions & credits that you would have been phased out of if you had filed jointly.

 

If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.

 

Louis,

Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)