Once you get divorced, there’s a sense of closing one chapter and opening another. Whether you're feeling relief or regret, it’s your time to move on. Or is it? When the new year rolls around, you may be thinking that, but in reality there’s one last thing you need to take care of — your last joint income tax return. And that’s where things could get tricky, with Forbes Magazine going so far as to say it’s akin to post-divorce sex with your ex.
That’s because no matter how amicable the split was, you’re never 100% sure what your future-ex’s mindset may be. They illustrate this point by telling a story of a man who divorced his wife, and allowed her to file their last tax return. What he didn’t know was that she had filed separate returns instead of filing jointly, which is what he assumed. Then, she fiddled with his return numbers increasing his return, and had it direct deposited into her bank account.
And that doesn’t even go into the theft from his IRA account totalling over $37,000.
So what should you do? Well, Forbes has a couple of recommendations. First, at the end of the year, check all your financial statements to make sure everything’s where it’s supposed to be. That should be every year, but especially when you’re filing your last joint return.
Secondly you need to completely change the way things had been done before. If you had always let one of you personally do the taxes, change it up. Have you been seeing the same tax person for the past 10 years? Go to another tax accountant. It may seem like overkill, but in the last year you’ll be dealing with someone, you want to be 100% sure that everything’s on the up and up before saying bye-bye to your spouse.
Post Divorce Tax Intimacy Can Be Riskier Than post Divorce Sex (Forbes)