Who Gets The Tax Breaks Following Divorce?

Serving Families Throughout Palm Beach Gardens

With calendars turning to April, people all around the country are thinking about taxes. For those of us who tend to put off filing until the last minute, tax season can be a source of stress and worry. Am I using the right forms? Will I owe money to the IRS? When will I find the time to go through all my receipts?

In this rush to file by the deadline, it can be relatively easy for Florida filers to overlook a deduction, make an incorrect assumption or report numbers that don’t add up. For former couples who have gone through a divorce, this can have a significant impact on a family’s financial picture.

One important way in which coordination at tax time is important for ex-spouses involves tax breaks for parents of dependent children. Only one parent can claim a child as a deduction for any given tax year, so parents should make clear with each other how this will work in practice. Some parents may not be eligible to count their children as dependents, which means if the other parent doesn’t claim this on their return, the benefits could go unused.

U.S. tax laws are notoriously complex, so it’s not surprising that there can be confusion as to who qualifies for certain exemptions, deductions and credits. But rules that aren’t followed by everyone the same way can lead to some eye-popping discrepancies. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, people who paid alimony between 2010 and 2015 reported $57 billion that they deducted. However, alimony recipients only reported receiving $47 billion.

An experienced Florida family law attorney can be an invaluable resource when you go through a divorce — not just at the time, but to help you account for circumstances down the road.

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John Schutz

John Schutz

Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.

Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.

John Schutz

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