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Sandi Hargrove, SkyHawks
Sandi Hargrove, SkyHawks, Master Tax Advisor, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 1257
Experience:  I am a Master Tax Advisor and Enrolled Agent. I have 40 years experience. Trucking specialist.
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Old Tax Leins - Protect my wife from my IRS problems

Customer Question

I have tax liens against me from when I was single. I am now married. Can
the IRS go after my wife for my tax problems? After 10 years, will the IRS
release those leins and write off that debt? Will it stay on my credit report
after that 10 year period? My wife wants to buy a house in her name only,
can the IRS take it or garnish her salary for my pre-marriage tax
problems? My wife wants to start a business too, can the IRS sieze any of
her assets because of my pre-marrage tax leins? She we divorce to
protect her from the IRS becuase of my IRS problems?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Sandi Hargrove, SkyHawks replied 11 years ago.

 IRS can attempt to collect your tax debts from your wife if you file a joint return without use of Form 8379 Injured Spouse to protect her portion of any refund. 

IRS can also collect from any assets you own even if they are jointly owned with her(such as your house or her business).

Generally, IRS may waive the tax debt if they have not pursued collection within 10 years of the assessment of the tax due unless you have agreed(usually with an installment plan or other agreement) to give up that option.  Collection of a tax debt due to payroll tax is not eligible for the statute of limitation in most cases.

Sandi Hargrove, SkyHawks, Master Tax Advisor, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 1257
Experience: I am a Master Tax Advisor and Enrolled Agent. I have 40 years experience. Trucking specialist.
Sandi Hargrove, SkyHawks and 2 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Sandi Hargrove, SkyHawks's Post: Sandi,

Thank you. I had no idea how this service works.

May I be more specific with my problem?

Back in the early 90s, I did file my taxes. The last two years I
filed in the early 90's I know I did every thing correctly. Then I
filed bankruptcy and the IRS (I am guessing here) adjusted my
returns and said I owed money.

Then around 1993 or 94 I stopped filing taxes altogether. The
IRS has tax liens against me for Tax Years 93, 94 and 96 (I
think). They renewed one of them before it expired after 10

I am trying to get everything corrected now.

My questions:

Since at least one of my tax liens are from a tax year I did file,
but the IRS amended, shouldn't the 10 year statue of limits be in
effect, or since they amended it, the statue of limitations is not
in effect?

I understand the statue of limitations does not start for my
unfilled years until I actually file something for the missing year
and then it does start from the late date it was filed, not
retroactively for the year it was for.

Once I married, my wife and I have filed jointly and the IRS has
been keeping all of our refunds and applying it to my tax liens. I
am in the process with a CPA in filing all of unfilled years. We
have requested my records from the IRS since I did not save any
files. The IRS sent us what they have, but for several of my
unfilled years, they don't have any records either. I did not work
much those years.

With our combined income, we make too much money to do an
OIC and still live and feed our children. With those tax liens on
my file, we can't get a home loan.
So my wife is thinking about getting a home loan in her name
only, but I am afraid the IRS could come after it since we are
married even though it is in her name only.

So now we are thinking about getting divorced to protect her
from my IRS problems. I hope to have all of my unfilled taxes
filed this summer. Then the IRS will come up with a new amount
I owe. If we get divorced, it would make it easier for me to do an
OIC on my own without her income being included in the
calculations. Plus, if we are divorced, she could get a home lone
without me tying her down.

Since my tax liens and problems are from before we got
married, if we get divorced, can the IRS still come after her for
my tax liens and problems? Keep her refunds? Seize her

Lets pretend we get divorced, all of my unfilled returns are filed
(late) and I owe a lot of money and the IRS has liens against me.
Can I just grind out those 10 years of statue of limitations that
start once all of my returns are filed? Then after 10 years,
should come off of my credit record, the liens should not be
renewable anymore by the IRS and the debt should be written off
by the IRS? Correct????

Then after 10 years, my soon to be ex wife and I could get

Or maybe after we get divorced, and all of my returns are caught
up to date and I have a new total amount owed, it will be easier
to get an OIC as a single since I own no properly.

Did all of that make since?

Let me know how much more I should give you for answering
this long winded, hard to understand questions?
Expert:  Sandi Hargrove, SkyHawks replied 11 years ago.

 The statute of limitations(generally 10 years) does not begin until the later of the original due date including any extensions of the return OR the later filing date of  your return OR the last date a payment on that tax balance was made. 

 A bankruptcy delays the statute of limitations until you are again solvent and able to begin payment.  The limitations begin again at that point.

The return that was amended by IRS will have a statute of limitations beginning on the last date for your response to the letter of adjustment.  Unfiled returns have no statute of limitations.

I strongly suggest you gather the required information for all the tax years involved.  Request all correspondence from IRS plus transcripts of filed returns(even those filed by IRS for you) and a list of reported income.  You can usually get this information free by submitting Form 4506T which is available at  When you do have this information, you should schedule an appointment with an Enrolled Agent to review your options and obligations.

You may not need to go thru divorce proceedings to protect your spouse from this prior debt.  An OIC is based on any income or assets you own since NE is not a community property state.  I urge you not to respond to IRS without counselling other than to request information.

Let me know if you would like a referral to an Enrolled Agent who works for H&R Block in your area.

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