When you make life changes, such as getting married or divorced, it affects how you do your taxes. Other life changes that affect your taxes include having a family member die, having a new baby, buying a house, and changing jobs. The changes could affect how much you get back or how much you pay to the Internal Revenue Service.
After a significant life change, the tax attorneys at France Law Firm can help ensure your taxes are done correctly so that you receive or pay no less or more than you should.
After you marry, you may or may not take your spouse’s name. Before you file your taxes for the year, you need to ensure that the name you use to file is the same name on your social security card. If you get married later in the year and don’t change your name until January or February, you’ll want to check to see what the Social Security Administration has as your legal name in the event that there was a delay in changing it.
Additionally, you will need to decide how you will file, whether it is ‘married filing jointly’ or ‘married filing separately.’ Even if you get married on December 31, the Internal Revenue Service considers you married for the entire year, so that is a decision you’ll need to make before you file.
Buying a Home
After buying a home, you have new deductions available to you. However, the tax laws frequently change. One recent change was to increase the personal deduction. It is harder to meet the threshold to itemize and make out better. A Florida tax attorney at France Law Firm can help you determine if you are better off itemizing or claiming the standard deduction.
Having a New Baby
If you have a new baby or if you adopt a child, you should apply for a Social Security number as soon as possible. You will need it to claim the child as a dependent on your tax returns. You can get federal tax credits and additional deductions for qualified childcare expenses for your child.
If you adopt a child, you could receive additional credits and deduct certain costs, such as court costs and adoption fees. An experienced tax attorney at France Law Firm can help ensure your taxes include all of the new credits and deductions you might be entitled to.
The Loss of a Spouse
If your spouse dies, you may qualify as a widow or widower. You can claim this status for up to two years after your spouse dies but not in the year he or she dies. The status is the same as ‘married filing jointly.’
However, if you remarry in the same year, you cannot claim this status. You will have to file ‘married filing jointly’ with your new spouse or ‘married filing separately.’
Divorcing Your Spouse
Once your divorce becomes final, you must file as “single.” Even if your divorce is final on December 31 of that year, you will file as a single person. However, if you have children, you have to determine which spouse will claim them. Both of you cannot claim the children. Some parties claim every other year, but that could get confusing. Others with more than one child split the children – the ex-wife might claim one child, and the ex-husband might claim the other.
If you have an odd number of children, one spouse claims more than the other but can offer an offset to the other spouse, such as lowering spousal support, which is taxable as income to the receiver in Florida. While you determine what your course of action will be during the divorce, you should retain a Florida tax attorney to discuss how a divorce could affect your taxes if you have children or if you pay alimony.
When you start a new job, you need to file the appropriate documents (W-4) that state how many deductions you have. Most people file more than they should, which means they get a lot of money back at the end of the year.
However, if you do that, the Internal Revenue Service takes out too much – thus, the refund – but doesn’t pay any interest on that money. It is better to keep that money in your pocket or transfer it to a savings account to gain interest. If you normally withhold more, so you receive a bigger refund, and have questions about changing that, contact a tax attorney at France Law to discuss the pros and cons of both actions.
Contact France Law
Regardless of the changes you make, you might need help on your taxes. An experienced tax law attorney and business law attorney at France Law can help you minimize your tax contributions. Contact France Law today for a consultation.