A common question is whether the parties should be filing a joint tax return during the pending divorce?
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The answer is not simple; and requires advice from a CPA.
Answer: If one party, relies upon the other party for income, and receives the benefits of the income, it may be appropriate to file a joint tax return. If all the monies earned, by the other party, or retained or used without the other spouse receiving any benefit there from, this may be a good reason not to file a joint tax return. Also, if there is an income source, other than as a W2, wage earner; the other party may not want to be exposed to a potential tax liability for any income not disclosed to the IRS, and therefore a joint tax return might not be in their best interest. Again, always consult with an expert, a CPA familiar with divorce cases and issues related to divorce cases; and if you are represented by counsel, be sure to discuss it with your attorney, first, and even then, discuss it with your accountant. Never rely upon your attorney for tax advice, and the information contained in this paragraph, is not tax advice, just general information that raises issues for review. Remember, if you file a joint tax return, you may be liable for all of the income, even though you can receive the benefit there from, even if he did not know that the income that was not disclosed actually existed. Be very cautious, and obtain good sound CPA and legal advice.