Divorce and Uncle Sam: Top 10 Things You Should Know When Filing Your Taxes

Written by by Jessie Danninger, CPA, Rosen Divorce

If youíve recently divorced or separated from your spouse, here are a few things you should know forrepparttar upcoming tax season:

1.What is my filing status? (Married, Single, Head of Household) Marital standing at year end determines your filing status forrepparttar 105606 entire year. If you have a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, signed by a judge, you should file as single. Regardless of whether you have a signed decree you may be able to file as head of household. Filing as head of household may reduce your income tax obligation, but to qualifyrepparttar 105607 following conditions must be met: oYou paid more than Ĺrepparttar 105608 cost of keeping up your home forrepparttar 105609 tax year, oYour home wasrepparttar 105610 main home for your child for more than Ĺrepparttar 105611 year, and oYour spouse hasnít been a member ofrepparttar 105612 household for 6 months. If you canít file as single or head of household, then you must either file as married filing joint or married filing separate.

6.Should my spouse and I file as married, filing separate or married, filing joint? Filing joint may provide some tax benefits over filing separate. However, by filing separaterepparttar 105613 IRS canít hold you responsible for any unpaid taxes caused by your spouseís actions or omissions. The ďinnocent spouseĒ rule provides relief from this responsibility in some cases.

2.Is alimony taxable? In general, alimony is taxable torepparttar 105614 recipient (line 11 ofrepparttar 105615 2004 Form 1040) and deductible torepparttar 105616 payor (line 34a ofrepparttar 105617 2004 Form 1040). However, some couples stipulate in their separation agreement thatrepparttar 105618 alimony wonít be deductible torepparttar 105619 payor, or taxable torepparttar 105620 recipient.

3.Is child support taxable? No. Child support is neither taxable torepparttar 105621 recipient nor deductible torepparttar 105622 payor. Ifrepparttar 105623 payor owes both alimony and child support but pays less thanrepparttar 105624 total amount owed,repparttar 105625 payments apply first to child support and then to alimony. Ifrepparttar 105626 separation agreement doesn't delineate separate alimony and child support payments, general "family support" payments are treated as child support for tax purposes, unlessrepparttar 105627 alimony qualifications are met.

4.Who gets to claimrepparttar 105628 dependency exemption forrepparttar 105629 children? In general, as long asrepparttar 105630 parents combined contribute at least Ĺ ofrepparttar 105631 support ofrepparttar 105632 child,repparttar 105633 custodial parent getsrepparttar 105634 dependency exemption forrepparttar 105635 child. If custody is split or undeterminable,repparttar 105636 parent who had physical custody forrepparttar 105637 greater part ofrepparttar 105638 year getsrepparttar 105639 dependency exemption. Custodial parents can waive their right torepparttar 105640 dependency exemption by filing Form 8332.

5. Who gets to claimrepparttar 105641 Child Tax credit andrepparttar 105642 Household and Dependent Care credit. Onlyrepparttar 105643 parent who claimsrepparttar 105644 exemption forrepparttar 105645 child may claimrepparttar 105646 Child Tax credit for that child. Unlikerepparttar 105647 exemption, it canít be traded. If you arerepparttar 105648 custodial parent, you can claimrepparttar 105649 Household and Dependent Care credit forrepparttar 105650 child even if you cannot claimrepparttar 105651 childís exemption. If you arerepparttar 105652 non-custodial parent, you cannot claimrepparttar 105653 Household and Dependent Care credit forrepparttar 105654 child even if you can claimrepparttar 105655 childís exemption.

SUV Rollovers - Florida

Written by T.Going

SUV (Sport Utility Vehicles) sales have sky-rocketed inrepparttar United States overrepparttar 105605 past few years. In 2004, SUVís accounted for 25 percent of all new-vehicle sales with over 22 million onrepparttar 105606 road. Because SUVís are larger, and heavier than other cars, buyers often times overlookrepparttar 105607 safety issues concerning them. Unfortunately, SUVís haverepparttar 105608 leading cause of rollover death on our highways. New statistics show that more than 12,000 people died last year in rollover accidents with SUVís accounting for 62 percent.

In Florida, SUV sales are rising and so arerepparttar 105609 problems that come along with them. Because SUVís have a higher center of gravity, they arerepparttar 105610 most unstable and rollover-prone vehicles onrepparttar 105611 road today. Many SUVís are designed to be driven off-road, however very few are equipped with proper equipment such as roll bars. In addition, only a few meetrepparttar 105612 National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration roof safety standards.

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