Did you know that if you are married for most of the calendar year, but, if your divorce becomes final on or before December 31st, the IRS will consider that you were divorced for the entire calendar year? This is true, as for tax purposes, the only thing that the IRS considers is your actual marital status on December 31.
Therefore, if your divorce is final – meaning that the Court has actually signed your Judgment of Divorce – on or before December 31st, then you can file as “single” for that tax year.
The opposite is also true, if you happen to get married on December 31st, then you can file as married. As far as the IRS is concerned, it does not matter that you were only married for one day.
It is important to note that even if all your divorce papers were filed before December 31st, that does not mean that your divorce is finalized before December 31st. In most New York counties, from the date that the divorce papers are filed until the date that the Court actually signs your Judgment of Divorce can take several months. Until your Judgment of Divorce is signed, you are still considered married (or perhaps legally separated, depending on what was filed with the Court).
You most likely want to be “officially” divorced before December 31st, as filing “single” is more advantageous than if you filed as “married filing separately.” Alternatively, if you are not “officially” divorced, then you could still file as “married.” The potential problem with filing as “married” (in situations where a divorce will be final soon) is how does the tax refund (or tax payment) get divided? In most situations, your attorney should take care of this contingency and state in your divorce papers how the tax refund or tax payment gets divided.
You might also be wondering if you can expedite your divorce so that it doesn’t take months from the date of filing your divorce papers for your divorce to be final. Typically, in order to expedite your divorce, you will need to file a “Motion” requesting expedited service. This will cost you more money than a “regular” filing, so that might wipe out the savings you would get from filing single.
In addition, you usually need a good reason why your divorce should be expedited compared to everyone else who has filed for a divorce. Simply stating that you will save money in taxes may not be a sufficient reason.
If you need advice about getting a divorce before December 31st or any other advice about a divorce, the Badanes Law Office and David Badanes can help you. David Badanes, Esq. has represented numerous clients in their divorce cases and provides real world advice to them.
The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County and New York City. If you need a reliable divorce attorney on Long Island, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Garden City, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
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