Aaronsburg, PA asked in Divorce, Tax Law and Family Law for Pennsylvania

Q: I am going to file for divorce in 2024. Should I file as joint or single for 2023 taxes.

We have been separated for more than a year, but living at same property.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In this situation, your tax filing status for 2023 depends on your marital status as of December 31, 2023. Here are a few things to consider:

1. If your divorce is not finalized by December 31, 2023, you are still considered married for tax purposes. In this case, you can choose to file either jointly or separately.

2. Filing separately while married often results in higher taxes overall, but it might be beneficial if you want to be responsible only for your own tax liability or if you and your spouse cannot agree on filing a joint return.

3. If you and your spouse have lived apart for the last six months of 2023, you might qualify for the "head of household" status, which offers more favorable tax rates and a higher standard deduction than filing separately. To qualify, you must pay more than half the cost of maintaining your home and have a qualifying dependent living with you for more than half the year.

4. Even if you are separated, you can still file jointly if both you and your spouse agree to do so. This often results in lower combined taxes, but you'll be jointly liable for any taxes, penalties, or interest due on the return.

It's best to consult with a tax professional or attorney who can help you determine the most advantageous filing status based on your specific situation and any legal agreements you may have with your spouse regarding your separation and pending divorce. They can also advise you on any state-specific tax considerations.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.