Married couples do enjoy certain advantages when it comes to federal income taxes. The exemptions and deductions are often more, which greatly lowers the taxable income they have. The first tax year afterward may cause some shocking revelations when Massachusetts residents divorce. The way they deal with the IRS changes now that they are newly single.
Perhaps the most shocking revelation is that a single person tends to pay more in taxes. Part of the reason for this is how the IRS considers marital status when it comes to tax brackets. The other issue in the first year after the divorce is that an individual’s income was most likely handled under the rules for married taxpayers, at least a part of the tax year, which means he or she probably did not have enough taken out of his or her paychecks.
This difference in withholding will certainly have an impact on the bottom line when a newly single Massachusetts resident files his or her federal income tax return. For newly divorced parents, losing the child tax credit could have an impact on taxes as well. If the divorce was not finalized until late in December of the previous year, some may think they can avoid these setbacks by filing one more return as married-joint. However, if the divorce was finalized as late as Dec. 31, the individuals must file as single for the entire tax year.
The news is not all bleak, however. It may be worthwhile for a newly divorced individual to speak with an experienced tax attorney in order to understand what changes he or she can expect when filing his or her first tax return as a newly single taxpayer. It may be possible to find ways to mitigate this new tax status in order to avoid experiencing a greater impact due to this new way of dealing with the IRS.