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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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This month I got a letter from the IRS stating that they are

Resolved Question:

This month I got a letter from the IRS stating that they are disallowing the First Time Homebuyer Credit. I received the credit together with my former wife in 2008 when we bought our home (she was a first time homebuyer) however I was not. At the time I was under the impression that we were eligible for the credit as she was a first time homebuyer.

We have been divorced for over a year now. Is she responsible for half of the credit repayment + half of the interest and penalties?

This was an honest mistake and misunderstanding. Is there any way they would consider lifting the $1500 penalty fee if I would pay my share immediately + the interest?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
We have been divorced for over a year now. Is she responsible for half of the credit repayment + half of the interest and penalties?

A: If you were married when you received the credit, and you are now divorced, and your divorce judgment divided your liabilities such that you both were liable for the taxes on the 2008 tax return, then you could use that judgment as grounds to recover one half of your additional taxes from your ex. Unfortunately, you would likely have to sue your ex to recover, and if one half the amount of the added tax is more than the Ohio small claims court $3,000 maximum, then you would either have to settle for the $3,000, or hire a lawyer to enforce your rights under the judgment.

It's possible that the family court would enforce the added tax against your ex, but it would depend heavily on exactly how the divorce judgment is written concerning any tax liabilities. There's no way that I can evaluate this issue here -- if you need a definitive evaluation of the judgment, you would have to seek local legal counsel.

See this link for Ohio small claims court info.

See this link for a family law attorney referral.

This was an honest mistake and misunderstanding. Is there any way they would consider lifting the $1500 penalty fee if I would pay my share immediately + the interest?

A: You can file a form 8857 and request innocent spouse relief, in an attempt to separate your tax liability without court action. If the IRS accepts, then you only owe half the amount, and it's likely that the IRS will also waive any penalties and interest.

Here is the link to form and instructions.

Hope this helps.

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