There are many things about having to manage your personal finances after a divorce that can feel overwhelming - including dealing with your taxes. Fortunately, a tax pro can help you make sense of your post-divorce personal finances at tax time. Here's how.
That first looming tax deadline after your divorce can be extremely stressful. Even if you are accustomed to filing your own taxes, there are now several new factors to consider. Your divorce decree could factor heavily into your state and federal taxes, and it's important to know how and why. Alimony, child support, health insurance payments, and any recent transfer of assets could all make a difference in your tax situation, and the rules are different for custodial parents and noncustodial parents. A tax advisor can explain what your divorce means for your tax bill, help identify extra deductions, make sure you don't claim credits you aren't entitled to, and further safeguard you from a costly IRS audit.
It may behoove you to file jointly one last time with your ex-spouse if you were still legally married at the close of the tax year. Depending on how you feel about your former spouse, you may wish to avoid this and file separately, or you could have a well-informed, neutral party assist in preparing your taxes as a couple for the last time. If you're unsure as to which of these options is in your best financial interest now that you're single, a tax pro can help you evaluate these scenarios.
Whether you're learning to budget with only half the income you had before (or possibly less), or figuring out how to stretch those alimony and child support payments, that first year or two after divorce can be especially challenging when it comes to your personal finances. While you may balk at having to pay someone to perform a service you could possibly do yourself (however efficiently or inefficiently), you should heavily consider consulting a tax professional such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) after your divorce. Even for just this one time, it could be well worth your money to turn your taxes over to a tax professional. In fact, you may find that avoiding that tax-time headache completely justifies the expense.
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