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Newly divorced with child custody? Take a second look at taxes

It's that time of year again, tax season is here! Many people dread this time of year. However, there may be tax benefits that newly divorced do not know about. If a person divorced on or before December 31, 2014, there may be some tax filing tips and tricks that these people can take advantage of.

This list was compiled by Forbes and includes tips and tricks for federal taxes not state taxes. There may be Texas state tax benefits to be aware of but they are not included in this list. For example, if a divorced person is the head of the household and has children that person can potentially write off more taxable income. A person is considered head of household if they are: single, make 50 percent or more of the household income, and kids live with that parent for six months of the year or more.

It is important to note that determining which parent can claim each child as a dependant can be determined in negotiations and included in the divorce decree. This likely will already be determined once the parent files their income taxes. Because of this it is important to cross-reference these documents or even discuss it with an ex-spouse in order to make sure that each person is filing correctly.

As far as taxes are concerned, divorce can sometimes come with benefits. Either way, it is best to take a second glance, especially if 2015 is the first year as a single parent. Whether a person has children that are 5 years old or 20, there are special tax exemptions, especially if the parent has children in college. Newly divorced parents should explore all of their options before filing their taxes this spring.

Source: Forbes.com, "8 Simple Things Moms and Dads should know about taxes" Emma Johnson, Jan. 26, 2015

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