If you are in the midst of a divorce, dividing your tax return can be complicated. Most couples benefit from filing a joint tax return to maximize deductions, but this can lead to complications if the couple separates prior to receiving their refund or fails to agree on how the refund should be divided.
If you are facing complicated tax issues regarding your divorce, be sure to speak with an attorney who has experience in handling divorce cases. The attorneys at Men’s Legal Center are ready to help.
How Should My Taxes Be Divided?
The federal government does not involve itself in the division of tax returns. The check is made out to both parties, and the government leaves it up to the couple to decide how to divide the proceeds.
It is also important to remember that when you file a joint tax return, both parties are legally responsible for any taxes owed. If there are errors in your return, both you and your spouse could be responsible for paying back any sums that were erroneously refunded to you.
Dividing your taxes fairly can be difficult. There are several ways that attorneys recommend couples approach this task:
- Divide the return evenly. This is the simplest method and allows both couples to have equal access to the money. This is the most appropriate method when both couples earn around the same amount of money and pay about the same amount in taxes.
- Divide the return by percentages. If one person earns 80 percent of the income while the other earns 20 percent, the income tax return could be divided along these lines. This method has the advantage of being simple to calculate.
- Divide the return by taxes paid. Sometimes, the division of the taxes can be done most fairly by calculating how much each person paid in taxes then pro-rating the return according to this amount. This helps couples divide the money equitably when one has paid a higher percentage of the taxes.
- One partner keeps the entire return. It may be beneficial for one partner to keep the tax return, particularly if the other partner is willing to take other marital property in exchange for giving up his or her portion of the return.
If you have questions about dividing your tax return or other property distribution in your divorce, contact Men’s Legal Center today.