Pedants will argue that you shouldn't refer to Code Section 183 - Activities not Engaged in For Profit as the "hobby loss rule", because the word hobby appears nowhere in the statute. The pedants scored a point in 2021, but I will still be sticking with the term. It looked like a slow year for hobby loss developments, but we finished with two major cases including a big taxpayer win. Let’s take a look.
Divorce and Taxes
“Timalyn, Alyssa and I filed for divorce, and we will finalize everything before Thanksgiving. Does this change things for our taxes?”
“No! Can we wait until January 1?” were my initial thoughts. But then I realized that if this news blindsided me, the seemingly happy couple was probably also scrambling for answers. They were looking to me to be calm during an upcoming storm.
To give you some context, I had helped this family lower their back taxes by $16,000 and get a payment plan that worked well with their cash flow. Then, by implementing a few strategies they had just saved an extra $20,000 on their last tax return. We were planning on saving them even more money in upcoming years.
Then, that is when it happened. Divorce.
I never saw this happening, so I never prepared for it. But if it happened to me, it will happen to you. Clients divorce.
Some of the things we are going over today may seem obvious to you. But remember what is obvious to us as tax experts is not obvious to our clients, especially if they are going through a life-changing event such as divorce.
Here are four things you need to inform your client about when it comes to their divorce and taxes…