A divorce can be an exceptionally stressful and complicated time -- especially financially. But one of the major difficulties that can occur is attempting to file your taxes while you're going through a divorce. Here are a few things that you'll need to know during this process, though ideally you may also want to consult with a professional.

You're Still Considered Married Unless You Divorced Before January 1st

The IRS considers you to be married as long as you started the year married. If you got divorced on January 1st, you're still married for the purposes of the return. This is equally important to know because it means that if you're currently filing your taxes while undergoing the process of divorce, your next return is probably still going to be considered married as well. This shouldn't adversely impact you with the IRS, however -- all it does is control whether or not you and your spouse are allowed to file on the same return. 

You Can File as "Married But Filing Separately"

The easiest way to file your taxes during a divorce is "married but filing separately," which is a check box on the return itself. This enables you to file as single individuals even though you're married. Understand, though, that doing this will usually be less advantageous for you both: you'll probably both end up paying more in taxes (or getting a reduced refund) compared to if you were going to file together. If you do need to file together, naturally, you'll need to be able to cooperate.

You Will Need to Talk to Your Spouse

Or, at very least, you will need to have your lawyer talk to your spouse. This is because even if you're going to file separately, you need to make sure that your spouse is filing separately as well. If they file a joint return and you file a single return, you may end up in some scrutiny later. Have someone talk to your spouse long enough to determine at least how you're going to be filing.

What you don't want to do during a divorce is fail to file your tax return at all. A failure to file will lead to strict penalties and fees -- regardless of your reasons for not doing so. By dealing with a professional accounting firm, you may be able to sidestep many of the more stressful steps of the process.

For an accounting firm, contact a company such as Herman & Cormany.