As tax day has now come and gone, it probably would have been better for me to have written on this topic several weeks ago, but as I was hard at work on my own taxes, I didn’t get a chance to!  So, perhaps you will come across this post in 2011, before you file your 2010 taxes…  I came across this article from the Equality in Marriage Institute, which I felt was helpful.  Here is a quick rundown of some of the main points:

  1. How should you file?  Do you file “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately”?  Best to do a work up of both options to see which way will save you the most in taxes.
  2. Make sure if you file a joint tax return that you know where all of your spouse’s income is coming from.  If he/she doesn’t declare all of their income, you could be on the hook for any taxes/penalties/interest owed for income that is not reported.  Be careful.
  3. As you are attempting to divide up your property, make sure you know what role taxes will play in the division of assets.  For example, if you have two accounts, each worth $50,000 – but one is retirement and one is personal, then the after-tax value of the retirement account would be less than the personal account.
  4. Lastly, always remember that taxes will play a large role in your settlement.  Make sure you are educated and know the tax laws as they affect your particular situation.  If you have any questions – consult with your attorney or another qualified tax professional.