Tax Consequences Attorney in Salem, Massachusetts

Effective Legal Guidance For Divorce-Related Tax Consequences

Divorce can be a complicated process involving more than custody and property division. Along the way, many decisions can affect your taxes. Our attorneys have more than 15 years of experience protecting the rights of individuals throughout the North Shore in Massachusetts. We can provide effective guidance for taxes and divorce, for custodial and non-custodial parents.

Children’s Exemptions

Child support payments are not subject to tax write-offs or exemptions. And, after a divorce, only one parent can claim minor children as dependents on their taxes. The federal government provides a tax exemption for custodial parents, unless the non-custodial parent can prove they provide 50 percent of support. State court typically alternates the exemption, as long as one party is providing child support.

It is important to address and agree to exemption issues before they create additional problems. If the federal exemption is never addressed in your divorce agreement, the federal government provides it to the custodial parent.

Transferring Assets

In certain situations, you can transfer assets to your ex-spouse without triggering tax consequences. These situations may include transferring:

  • 401(k)s
  • Homes
  • Bank accounts

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order, QDRO, can also be beneficial. This order can allow you to assign a portion of an asset to your ex-spouse without triggering unintended tax consequences.

Income Issues

Unlike child support payments, spousal support payments, also called alimony, are subject to special tax treatment. The receiver of the support payments is subject to tax, because the payments are considered additional income. On the other hand, the party paying support usually receives a tax write-off.

Liquidating assets can create complicated tax consequences. Depending on the asset and other circumstances, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) views liquidated assets as income. This is also true for foreclosures. If you do not file bankruptcy and your home goes through foreclosure, there could be tax implications. You could receive a 1099 form, which treats forgiven debt as income subject to taxation. It is important to consider the tax implications of debts and other obligations during your divorce proceedings.

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