Preparing Your Tax Estimates
The first step in preparing a tax estimate would be to gather all the relevant information. Often, one spouse manages the bookkeeping for the family. If your spouse traditionally took care of that business and is uncooperative about sharing the information, you may have to employ the assistance of an attorney or even possibly the court. Before enacting these types of measures, however, you may wish to point out that the legal fees of both you and your spouse will rise dramatically should these avenues become necessary.
Another way of obtaining relevant information would be to contact the family accountant, who should be able to provide copies of previous returns. Another option is to contact the IRS and acquire Form 4506. By executing and returning this form and returning it to the IRS, they will make available all SIGNED copies. The IRS also makes several informational publications available that can provide key advice to persons going through a divorce. The most significant of these publications would be:
Once the estimates are completed, it is now time to make one of the most important decisions of the entire divorce : how will you file your taxes?
Resources & Tools
FILING JOINT OR SEPARATE RETURNS -- One of the most important tax decisions a divorcing couple makes is filing joint or separate returns. A couple who are married on the last day of the year may file jointly even if they are permanently separated in anticipation of a divorce. Couples who file jointly, however, have joint and several liability, which means "both spouses are each entirely responsible for the return and the tax liability and its tax obligations."
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