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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11702
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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Can the CA Franchise Tax Board attach the bank accounts of

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I need an expert in CA Tax Laws. Can the CA Franchise Tax Board attach the bank accounts of someone living in another state, on a tax bill from 1984, 85, 86 & 87 that belongs to my ex-husband whom I divorced in the State of Utah in 1995. The Utah Court ordered in the Divorce Decree that my ex husband was solely responsible for any taxes owed to the CA FTB, but the FTB has refused to accept that court order because there is no dollar amount specified in the order. There is no tax amount specified in the Divorce Degree because I never knew what the tax bill was, had no idea what my husband made in his self-employed business, and I never worked or had any income at any time during my marriage to him. I was granted Innocent Spouse status by the IRS on my ex-husband's tax obligations for those years back in 1998 or 1999, but I don't have a copy of that release from the IRS, the IRS had informed me, as has the CA FTB, that they have no documents or records that date back that far, and the FTB has told me that they do not even have copies of the tax returns that far back, yet they are threatening me with seizure of my bank accounts and/or assets to satisfy my ex-husbands tax obligations from 1984-1987 for under-reporting his income. I was never employed or had any income during the marriage; I was a stay-at-home housewife raising our two kids, and I only signed the tax returns for those 3 years because it is required by law. He was self-employed, and I never knew how much money he made. Do you have an answer or advice?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Good Evening

 

I look forward to helping you, but need a bit more information

 

1. How is the Franchise Tax Board tying you in to your former husband's liability for this tax ? Was it part of any tax return which you filed and signed jointly with your former husband ?

 

2. If the Board does not have copies of the returns, how has it proved that any tax is due, anyway ?

 

3. Did your former husband file separate returns for the Franchise tax ?

 

4. Have they tried to collect from your former husband ?

 

Thank you

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

First off, how can you help me if you are not licensed to practice law in the State of California, and most likely not familiar with CA tax laws?

 

Response to 1: My ex husband and I filed the tax returns for the years in question jointly, and I HAD to sign the tax returns that he prepared because the spouse is REQUIRED by CA law to sign the forms when Returns are filed jointly. I did not know the income he reported was under-reported. I never knew how much money he made in his business, and I never heard anything from the CA Franchise Tax Board until about six months ago ... probably because my current husband and I lived in CA in 2008 & 2009, and filed returns in CA.

 

Response to #2 (and # XXXXX): This is the question I have asked the FTB over and over again. They cannot (or will not) provide an answer other than to tell me that the delinquent tax bill is owed for those years, and since I signed the returns along with my Ex, I am responsible. I gave the FTB my ex's current address and telephone number in Provo Utah, and they allegedly tried to contact him, but he did not respond and the FTB told me that since he refuses to respond, the obligation is my responsibility.

 

Response to #3: My ex husband did not file separate tax returns. Like I said ... he was self employed, and I never knew how much money he made. I was a stay-at-home housewife during our entire marriage and never worked or had any income.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Law school classes on any subject are not restricted to any particular state. We learn law "across the board".

 

In addition, we are trained to be able to research the law inany state or country, for that matter.

 

I earned a post doctoral degree in Taxation and if I can decipher and make sense out of the Internal Revenue Code, I believe I can make sense out of anything.

 

Your question does not involve as much tax law as you think. However, if, after reading my Answer, you prefer another expert, I have no problem with that at all.

 

With reference to your question:

 

 

1. When the IRS grants "Innocent Spouse status" to one of the spouses, it is only for Federal income tax returns purposes. It does not extend to other taxing authorities, including State, local and California Franchise Tax.

 

2. With respect to the Divorce Decree which made your former husband totally liable for tax obligations to the California Franchise Tax Board - This is a problem I encounter almost every day because Judges in divorce cases consistently fail to explain to the parties that the Court has jurisdiction only over the litigants - the Husband and the Wife - nobody else. Therefore, neither the Judge, nor any Court Order or Decree can impose an obligation on another entity, including the FTB to obey the Court. Here, although the Divorce Decree imposed on your former husband the tax liability, the Court did not have jurisdiction, or authority over any other entity, including the California Franchise Tax Board, to order them to look only to your former husband for payment of the tax liability. That is why the California Franchise Tax Board is chasing you for payment. The choose the party which is most accessible.

 

Your recourse against your former husband for not paying the tax obligation would be to file a Petition for Contempt against him and ask the Judge to give him jail time until he complies.

 

In the meantime, if you have not already done so, you should contact the FTB in writing, voicing your objection to the liability. Inform them that the Statute of Limitations has expired and they cannot collect any tax - of which you had no knowledge - which is between 23 and 26 years old. Inform them further, that the IRS gave you "Innocent Spouse Status", not that they will be obligated to grant you this status, but it can't hurt. You should also insist on verification of the tax liability since you can legally throw out your Federal Tax Returns after 3 years, you do not have tax returns from 23-26 years ago.

 

________________________________________________

 

Please press "ACCEPT" so that I may receive credit for assisting you

BONUS is always appreciated

That is the only way I get paid

_________________________________________________

 

Kindest Regards,

 

ANDREA, JD, LLM

MEMBER, NY & PA BAR

Don't forget to leave positive feedback!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i have discussd the statute of limitations situation with the FTB, and they acknowledge that they cannot collect a debt more than 20 years old. However, they tell me that the tax obligation was not discovered by them until 1991 when my ex-husband filed the tax returns for the years in question, and that the statute of limitations does not expire until 2011. That is why they are so urgently pressing and threatening me with seizures. My initial and most important question remains: CAN THE CALIFORNIA FRANCHISE TAX BOARD SIEZE PROPERTY OR BANK ACCOUNTS IN ANOTHER STATE (UTAH)?

 

Please answer this one question and I will be satisfied with your research & response.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

What the California Franchise Tax Board said is true - The Statute of Limitations does not begin to run until the the taxpayer files returns.

 

Tax liens can be placed on property owned by the taxpayer , however, unlike Federal Tax Liens, a State taxing authority can only place a lien on property which is located within the State. Here, the taxing authority is California and only California property would be subject to any lien.

 

If a State taxing authority sues the taxpayer for the tax due and obtains a judgment, it is conceivable that the taxing authority can register the judgment in another state in which it knows the taxpayer owns property and can attempt to collect the judgment by levying on the property in the other State. This is not generally done, but I wanted to let you know of all possibilities so that you are not caught by surprise.

 

It would be a good idea to ask them for proof that the returns were filed in 1991. You should demand to see copies, not only for purposes of the Statute of Limitation, but for the tax liability. If they do not have anything to show you, they could conveivably file a lien for any amount they wanted. If they filed a lien against any property you own and you sued them to have it removed, the Court would demand proof and they would have none to show, thereby dismissing and removing the lien.

 

You should file the Petition for Contempt against your husband which I spoke of in my previous Answer.

 

_________________________________________________

 

 

Please press "ACCEPT" so that I may receive credit for assisting you

BONUS is always appreciated

That is the only way I get paid

_________________________________________________

 

Kindest Regards,

 

ANDREA, JD, LLM

MEMBER, NY & PA BAR

 

Don't forget to leave positive feedback!

 



Edited by ANDREA, on 9/6/2010 at 5:05 PM EST
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11702
Experience: 25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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