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Divorce brings tax-time changes for parents

Divorce changes just about everything for parents, from their time spent with their children to the dynamics in their families, their living arrangements, social lives, finances and taxes.

Forbes notes that if you ended 2014 as unmarried, earning at least half of your household’s income, and had your children living in your home for at least six months, you should file as the head of household. In most situations, this will lower taxes and raise deductions.

The article describes things single moms and single dads should know about filing federal income taxes, including the following:

  • Determining who qualifies as a dependent: being able to claim a child as a dependent enables you to take credits and deductions on your tax forms. It is often stated in a divorce agreement worked out with your family law attorney which spouse will get to claim a child as dependent. Note: a custodial parent can sign a waiver to allow a non-custodial parent to claim a child as a dependent.
  • Deduction: if you can claim a dependent child, you can deduct $3,950 (unless your income exceeds $279,650).
  • Credit: single parents with adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 or less can take a $1,000 tax credit for each dependent child age 16 or younger on the last day of last year.
  • Child care: if you have an income or are a full-time student, and you have a child in qualifying child care, you can claim up to $3,000.
  • Adoption: in its article, Forbes notes that if you adopted a child last year, you can receive up to $13,190 in federal tax credits.

Complex tax matters are best discussed with qualified professionals, just as complicated legal matters involving family are best undertaken with an experienced Clark County family law attorney.     

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