Tax Rules for Divorced or Separated Individuals* FAQs     

Are there tax ramifications in a divorce?
There are almost always tax ramifications in a divorce; however, KSS Family Law attorneys, like most family law attorneys do not dispense tax advice, except that each client should consult with a Certified Public Account or Tax Lawyer before entering into any agreement or Consent Order, and even before they begin negotiating any form of settlement. Often an agreement or other result has tax consequences that are not obvious to the average litigant. KSS Family Law maintains good relationships with many tax professionals and when needed, and with the client’s authorization, will hire one for the case. But regardless of which law firm you hire, KSS Family Law strongly suggests you meet with a tax professional and understand all the potential tax consequences of a divorce or other family law matter.

Am I allowed to use a different accountant than the one my spouse and I used together during the marriage?
Yes. And you should at least consider consulting with a different tax expert, even if you decide to continue using the same one your spouse does. A second opinion is always recommended.


Tax rules for Divorced or Separated Individuals*
Click for IRS Publication 504

*The attached information may not be the most current, it is for purposes of showing the types of materials available through the IRS and KSS advises anyone in a family law matter to seek independent tax advice from a tax expert since KSS attorneys do not give tax advice.

The IRS has released updated publications and forms that help divorced and divorcing people

The IRS has released updated publications and forms that help divorced and divorcing people understand and deal with these issues:

• income tax filing status
• the right to claim tax exemptions
• how to protect against tax liabilities arising from FOC intercepts of tax refunds on joint returns when, in fact the intercept is for child support arrearages of only one spouse and some of the tax refund belongs to the other spouse.
• how to claim "innocent spouse" relief from liability caused by unreported income by the other spouse are now available.

See, in particular, IRS Publication 504 Divorced or Separated Individuals [January 10, 2011]

Other recently published and/or updated publications or IRS Forms that family lawyers' clients will find helpful and informative are:

Injured Spouse Relief: IRS Form 8379 is filed by one spouse (the injured spouse) on a jointly filed tax return when the joint overpayment expected was applied (offset) to a past-due obligation of the other spouse (e.g., a tax intercept for unpaid child support arrearages. This is how the injured spouse recovers her tax refund.

IRS Publication 971. How to Claim Innocent Spouse Relief. [Revised February 2011]

Innocent Spouse Relief: IRS Form 8857 is used to request exemption from tax liabilities cause by the under-reporting of income by the other spouse on a joint return filed during the marriage.

Other recently revised publications of interest to those recently divorced or divorcing are these:

Publication 501: Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information [Published January 5, 2011]

Publication 544: Sales and Other Dispositions of Property, including transfers to spouse, rollovers or retirements accounts

Publication 555: Community Property, including information about how to handle income from separate property [Revised December 2010]

Publication 590: Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) [Published February 3, 2011]

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