Can a couple divorced during the tax year, file joint tax returns for the year?
Actually, the answer is "No". The IRS tax code specially has stated that a taxpayer must be married on the last day of the year, that is December 31 to file a joint tax return.
Now, if the divorce settles late in 2009, the taxpayer can wait until January 2005 to actually divorce. The Taxpayer can go through with the divorce hearing before December 31, but waits to finalize the divorce, that is, "entry of the final judgment", until January 2010. In this situation, the taxpayer may file a joint return for the tax year 2009.