How you can file your taxes at the end of the year is based on several variables:
- If you were legally married on the last day of the calendar year, you can file jointly with the other person. Many people choose this option, since it typically leads to the lowest tax burden. However, be aware that filing jointly means you are both fully liable for the contents of the tax filing. If you are less financially savvy than the other party, you may wish to hire an independent accountant to review the filing and its supporting documents. There is also the option of the “married filing separately” status. Both spouses should determine how these filing statuses will affect their tax liabilities and benefits.
- If you were legally divorced by the end of the year, you may be able to file as a single individual or a head of household. Typically, filing as a head of household is more beneficial tax-wise, but there are other conditions you must meet. To qualify as a head of household, you must have paid at least half the cost of maintaining a home, and must have lived in that home with a qualifying dependent such as a child for over half the year.
Whether you’re filing as married or single, there are plenty of factors to keep in mind regarding your tax filing. Thankfully, figuring out how you’ll be filing may be a big step toward figuring it out.