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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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I live in Texas and about to get married to a man who owes

Resolved Question:

I live in Texas and about to get married to a man who owes back IRS taxes. If we file separate returns will that affect my tax return in any way or can I be held liable?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.
Hello doublek,

You cannot be held personally liable alone for any tax debt that your husband had prior to your marriage. However, this could affect you in the following ways:

1. Once you get married, if you have any assets which are titled in both of your names, then the IRS could attach a lien or levy to those assets. This would include a bank account or home or any other asset. So if you currently own a home you should not plan to add your husband's name to the deed. You should also consider keeping separate bank accounts until his tax debt has been satisifed.

2. If you file a joint return with your husband, then any refund which you have coming could be withheld to satisfy his tax debt. There are three things you can do to avoid this.

a) File separate returns
b) If you file a joint return, you should also file Form 8379 for Injured Spouse. By filing this form, the IRS would still send you the percentage of the refund that was allocated to your percentage of the income.
c) If you file a joint return make sure that both of you adjust your paycheck withholdings so that you will not be in a position at the end of the year where a refund is even due.

Those are the only ways that you could be involved as far as being liable for his past tax debt.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.

Thank you doublek.

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