Rapaport Law Firm, PLLC
A New York Divorce Attorney's Thoughts on NY Matrimonial and Family Law
Marc Rapaport has 19 years of experience handling New York family law matters. Marc is the founder and principal of Rapaport Law Firm PLLC, a matrimonial law firm in Manhattan's Empire State Building. We hope that this blog provides you with an informative discussion of New York family law. If you are looking for a divorce lawyer in New York City, call for a free telephone consultation: ph (212) 382-1600.
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Tax Return November 26, 2013

WHAT IS YOUR MARITAL STATUS FOR PURPOSES OF FILING TAX RETURNS WHILE YOU ARE GETTING DIVORCED


Posted by Marc Rapaport

Married or Unmarried Tax Status? Here's How to Decide:

Unmarried:       

You are considered unmarried for the whole year if either of the following two applied: (a) you have obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of the tax year; or (b) you obtained a decree of annulment. 

Married:

You are married for the whole year if you are separated from your spouse but have not obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of the tax year.  A pendente lite (interlocutory) order does not constitute a final divorce decree. 

Usually, You Should File Jointly if You Can - But Not Always:

Until your divorce is granted through the entry by the court of a final judgment of divorce or separate maintenance, you are deemed married for tax purposes.  In most situations, this is decidedly good news, because it means that you and your spouse can still file jointly.  You may file jointly even if one of you had no income or deductions. There are significant advantages to filing joint returns (even if you and your spouse are barely able to speak with one another).  In virtually all situations, you will pay more combined federal income tax if you file separately.  There are a number of reasons for this.  Filing jointly results in the lowest marginal tax rates.   Furthermore, if you were to file separately, you would probably not be able to take credit for child and dependent care expenses, your capital loss deduction is limited to $1,500 (not $3,000); you would not be able to take the earned income credit; and your exemption amount for the alternative minimum tax would be cut in half.

The Exception: If you doubt the accuracy of your soon-to-be former spouse's tax return/reporting of income, you should seriously consider filing a tax return under the status "married-filing separate" (MFS) to avoid your potential exposure for any deficiencies.   If you are unsure, speak to your divorce attorney or accountant.

By: Marc A. Rapaport

Mr. Rapaport is a New York divorce lawyer.  He is the founder of Rapaport Law Firm in New York City

                                             



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RAPAPORT LAW FIRM, PLLC.
One Pennsylvania Plaza, Suite 2430, New York, New York 10119
Phone 212.382.1600/Fax 212.382.0920/info@rapaportlaw.com
MARC RAPAPORT IS A NEW YORK DIVORCE ATTORNEY WITH MORE THAN 18 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. HE IS A CONTRIBUTOR TO NEW YORK MAGAZINE'S "ASK THE EXPERTS" COLUMN, AND HE REGULARLY APPEARS IN THE LOCAL AND NATIONAL MEDIA REGARDING NY DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW. IF YOU ARE FACING DIVORCE, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU RETAIN AN EXPERIENCED NY DIVORCE LAWYER. FOR AN APPOINTMENT, CALL THE RAPAPORT LAW FIRM TODAY: (212) 382-1600 or EMAIL MR. RAPAPORT.
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