When you are getting divorced, it is important to pay attention to income tax returns. Often, it makes sense financially for a divorcing couple to file a joint income tax return for the preceding year. Before you sign a joint return, you need to verify that your spouse has accurately reported his or her income. If you sign a joint return and the IRS determines that because of something your spouse did, your tax should have been higher, you could be liable for payment of the additional tax.
You also need to pay attention to which spouse gets to claim the income tax dependency exemption for any minor children. The default position of the Internal Revenue Service is that the parent who has the children in his or her care the majority of the time (i.e., 6 months plus one day) is the person who is entitled to claim the exemptions.
However, in Minnesota, divorce courts can modify this, and they can award the income tax dependency exemptions to one parent or the other, depending upon the facts of the case. Generally, the exemptions are allocated equally. If there is only one child, then the right to claim the exemption is alternated between the parents on an annual basis.
If you have questions about this or any other divorce issue, call Minnetonka, MN, divorce attorney Daniel Fiskum at (952) 270-7700 to schedule a free divorce case analysis.