A divorce can mean new beginnings. It can also mean new tax implications. CPA and TurboTax tax expert Lisa Greene-Lewis has the divorcee's guide to filing taxes after this major life event.
[MUSIC PLAYING] TRACY BYRNES: A lot of people got divorced in 2021. And hey, here's to new beginnings. But what happens with your tax return now? So if I got divorced in July or December, what am I on my tax return? Lisa-Greene Lewis, CPA and TurboTax expert is here with us right now. So Lisa, I got divorced last year, how do I file my tax return? LISA GREENE-LEWIS: Yes, so no matter if you were divorced in July or on December 31st, 2021, you are considered single. So you would file as a single person. And so you may see a difference in-- for instance, if you claim the standard deduction, you would have a standard deduction of $12,550 as opposed to $25,100 if you file married filing jointly. On the bright side, if you support a dependent, you would be able to claim head of household, and you would see more standard deduction. TRACY BYRNES: Yeah, you get more benefit as head of household. Because let's face it, you do a little bit more work, you're taking care of people, you're running a house by yourself, so you do get extra benefit from it. But really important, I think, to emphasize that your status on December 31 is your status for the entire year regardless of whether you got divorced in the beginning of the year or the end, you're still single, you're still on your own, kid, right. LISA GREENE-LEWIS: Right. And one thing I would point out too, if you do have kids, discuss who is going to claim the child on their taxes. Because only one person is able to claim a dependent. So that's one important discussion I always say to have. TRACY BYRNES: The huge one, a lot of couples take turns each year and stuff. But definitely something to speak to the attorneys about. Lisa Greene-Lewis, thank you so much for explaining all that. LISA GREENE-LEWIS: Thank you for having me. [MUSIC PLAYING]