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bledsoe9107
Level 1

Divorced

If I got divorced this year, what options do I have for my W4?

4 Replies
tsmeadow
Employee Tax Expert

Divorced

Hello @bledsoe9107,

 

I hope you are doing well today.  If you are going to be legally divorced in 2022, then I would recommend adjusting your W-4 through your employer to account for the changes.  A divorce affects your filing status and therefore your standard deduction amount on your tax return.

 

The IRS determines your filing status for the entire year based on your legal status on the last day of the tax year.   For example, if you are married for 364 days of the year, but are legally divorced on the 365th day/last day of the year, then you would have to choose single as your filing status for the tax return for the entire year.  For reference, if you file married filing joint, your standard deduction amount for 2022 is $25,900.  If you file single/married filing separately, your standard deduction amount will be $12,950 (half of the married filing joint deduction).  If you itemize your deductions, then the deduction amount is more complicated to determine. (It would depend on your mortgage interest, property tax deductions, whether your ex-spouse is/was on the deed of the property, and how much they are going to claim on their return.) 

 

Either way, you will need to increase your withholdings to account for the decrease in your standard/itemized deduction amount.  Most employers will have a website/payroll service where you can request/change your W-4 information online.  Please find below a link to the 2022 Form W-4.  In order to increase your withholdings, you would need to update the filing status box on Step 1, Line C.  Specifically, you would change the status from Married Filing Joint to Single.  Once submitted, your employer will increase your taxes withheld based on the lower standard deduction amount.  

 

Link: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

 

Please note, for you to be legally divorced for tax period 2022 a divorce decree or final order must be issued from the appropriate Court in your State/County by December 31, 2022.  

 

Thanks,

Taylor, Tax Attorney, 12 Years

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OpeA1
Employee Tax Expert

Divorced

Hello bledsoe9107!

 

It will depend on when your divorce is final because this determines your filing status.

 

"Couples who are splitting up but not yet divorced before the end of the year have the option of filing a joint return. The alternative is to file as married filing separately. It's the year when your divorce decree becomes final that you lose the option to file as married joint or married separate. In other words, your marital status as of December 31 of each year controls your filing status for that entire year."

 

Read more about this here https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/marriage/getting-divorced/L20NC66cf 

 

I hope this helps.

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bledsoe9107
Level 1

Divorced

Thanks, @tsmeadow . The divorce is final (was done in April 2022). We have two kids and plan to each claim 1 at the end of the year. Can I file as head of household?

tsmeadow
Employee Tax Expert

Divorced

Hello @bledsoe9107,

 

According to the circumstances you described, you should be able to claim head of household filing status.   The requirements for head of household are below:

  • Pay for more than half of the household expenses.
  • Be considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year, and.
  • You must have a qualifying child or dependent.

You can find more information on head of household filing status here: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/family/guide-to-filing-taxes-as-head-of-household/L4Nx6DYu9

 

Thanks,

Taylor, Tax Attorney, 12 Years

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