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My wife and I are filing for divorce. Our case management

My wife and I are...
My wife and I are filing for divorce. Our case management date is Nov 29 2012. After that date we can file our divorce anytime. If we file in 2012, can we still claim that we are married in our 2012 tax return or would it be better to wait until January 2013 to file our divorce?
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10/2/2012
Phillip B, EA
Phillip B, EA, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 704
Experience: Practicing since 2004. Expert in 1040, small business, represent vs. IRS, & int'l tax mattters.
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Your marital status as of 12/31 will determine your filing status. If your divorce is not finalized by that date, your filing status will be married joint or separate.

Generally, I would recommend divorcing couples file separate income tax returns if the divorce isn't final by the end of the year. Joint returns carry with them joint liability; meaning if the joint return was to be audited a few years from now, both former spouses would be liable for taxes assessed in such a audit.

If the divorce is finalized by that date, you will need to file single.

If certain circumstances apply (you have been physically living separated for more than the last 6 months of 2012, and there is a child living in one household) one of you may be able to file as head of household.

If this answers your question, please rate my answer between OK and Excellent so that I may be paid. If you have further questions, please reply to my answer so that I may assist you further.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
We have been living apart for 7 months. If we file separate returns and neither of us have a child living with us, do we each get to file as head of household, or does that not apply as we are the only ones in each of our house?
Unfortunately the head of household provision only applies if there is a qualifying child in one of the homes.
Phillip B, EA
Phillip B, EA, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 704
Experience: Practicing since 2004. Expert in 1040, small business, represent vs. IRS, & int'l tax mattters.
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