Going through a divorce could come with an enormous amount of stress. Spouses seeking to dissolve their marriages may want to “just get things over with,” but such an attitude might prove regrettable. Divorces come with financial concerns and considerations, so spouses need to avoid making mistakes that harm them financially. One area to be mindful of is tax implications.
What are the implications of married filing jointly?
When spouses file a “married filing jointly” tax return, both parties become responsible for the debt. The IRS could seek payment for debts owed from a spouse who earned less money, if any, during the years that the married couple filed the return. Things could become troubling for a spouse who earned very little money and who finds himself or herself dealing with the tax obligations from an ex-spouse who earned far more.
There are possible solutions under certain circumstances. The law provides for “innocent spouse” and “injured spouse” claims. Regardless, the parties could discuss tax debts and obligations during divorce proceedings.
The path forward with tax obligations
A spouse who submitted married joint returns for 30 years may now find himself or herself filing “single” status. A spouse who never dealt with accountants or tax attorneys before might feel overwhelmed by the process. Taking steps to educate oneself about tax filing requirements and seeking to establish new professional relationships might prove helpful.
Learning about divorce-related tax issues
A divorce attorney could speak with a client about a variety of different concerns. Asking an attorney for guidance and insights about present and future tax obligations might help a client understand tax duties and implications. Discussions about how to address tax debt during the divorce proceeding may occur, as well.
Spouses involved in divorce proceedings need to understand how tax responsibilities factor into the process. Otherwise, added difficulties and responsibilities may arise.