Here are some of the most commonly asked questions concerning taxes among divorce clients. For the final word, always ask your tax professional:
1. Who Claims the Kids? The Internal Revenue Code says the custodial parent gets the dependency exemptions. However, most divorce judgments will provide that the parents share the dependency exemption(s), so long as the non-custodial parent is current with child support and both parents can "use" the dependency exemption.
2. Is child support tax-deductible? No, not in New York State.
3. Is maintenance tax-deductible? The Internal Revenue Code says yes, but your divorce judgment/ separation agreement must contain certain language. The payments cannot be actual child support or "disguised" child support, and must cease upon the payor's death.
4. How am I supposed to file, married or single? For those who want to filed "married," if you were still legally married on December 31, you should be able to file "married, filing jointly." Yes, even if you were not living under the same roof; and even if a divorce action was commenced but not concluded. Just remember, you are filing a JOINT return and are responsible for what the other person is putting down on the return, including liabilities.