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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
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I filed for an extension for the tax year 2011. I wanted to

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I filed for an extension for the tax year 2011. I wanted to wait until my divorce was final so I can file single. We got into debt with the IRS while we were married due to my husband. The taxes we ended up owing was because of his income. But he never paid them. Instead he has gone the past two years without doing his taxes. I filed married filing separately the past couple of years. The IRS contacted us and I was the only one who cooperated with them. After asking me many questions, he determined that I was under hardship and unable to pay, so he helped to fill out forms of my income and expenses. And after that I guess it looks like they waived my responsibility of those owed taxes. But my exhusband never bothered to call them even though I told them they could help him, too. We owe the IRS about 30,000. What will happen to him if he continues to hide from them? They have been unable to locate a bank account for him and they haven't garnish any wages from his employer. When I do my taxes this year, will those owed taxes affect me? If I get money back, will they take it? And will they take it even though that IRS guy helped me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Megan C replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for asking your question! I'm sorry to hear about your tax issue and I'm going to try my best to help you understand or resolve it.

Please note that the following is general information based on what you have told us in your prompt.

For 2011, if you were legally married at the end of the tax year you will have to file married filing separately. You cannot claim single until you are single on December 31 of the tax year.

If you filed married filing separately and claimed all your income, but your husband did not file his taxes - that's his problem, not yours. You are only liable for your joint tax returns that were filed, and from what you said it sounds like you had innocent spouse treatment for the $30,000 tax debt from your joint returns. Get documentation of that from the IRS to keep with your records and give your tax advisor. If you don't have documentation of this, but you remember speaking with the IRS about this then tell your tax advisor so they can get documentation for you.

If the IRS still has you responsible for your joint tax debt then they can take collection action against you. That is why it is very important to get documentation that they aren't holding you responsible for that debt. Once you have that proof, then if something does happen you have the documentation to take to a tax advisor and get it taken care of. If the IRS gives you written proof, then try not to worry.

And don't worry at all about the years that you filed separate returns. As long as you did your taxes correctly then you will be fine. One of the purpose of filing separate returns is so that you aren't responsible for your spouses' omissions.

If this helped, then rate my service as "excellent" so that I can be compensated for assisting you today. Otherwise, click "reply" or "continue conversation" for continued dialog with me.

VERY IMPORTANT - IF you are having DIFFICULTY RATING, please let me know IMMEDIATELY. If you don't rate my response, I don't get paid even though your deposit is retained by the site. Thanks for your cooperation in this matter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
great...so when it is time for me to file single next year, then if I get money back they won't take it away from me?

What will happen to my ex for not filing year after year?

Also, can you give me advice as to how much is an average charge to do taxes? I feel like I am getting overcharged. I file a 1040 and a Schedule C and I got charged $600.
Expert:  Megan C replied 2 years ago.
Well, so long as you are not liable for any back taxes even if you file married filing separate they won't take it. If you are liable for joint debt then they can collect; however, based on what you said the IRS agreed not to hold you liable for the debt for the back taxes.

What will happen to your ex for not filing year after year? Well, it all depends. If he's self employed or an independent contractor, it can be bad. If he is a W-2 employee and has adequate withholding then they won't be as hard on him because he's still paying taxes. They will find him, and it will be worse on him for not cooperating. Worst case, he can go to jail even.

The IRS has been a lot softer since various laws were enacted in 1998. He really should get a good tax attorney and get in contact with the IRS and make arrangements to straighten everything out. If you're still a friend to him, and he asks for advice - that's what you tell him. Get an attorney. Be honest with your attorney. Let the attorney help you take care of it.

Actually $600 isn't that bad for a return with a schedule C in California. The software that accountants use is very expensive, and so is overhead such as paying employees and staying in compliance with the new IRS regulations on paid tax preparers. If that $600 also included your state return preparation, you're getting a good deal, especially if you're getting it done by a CPA.

If this helped, then rate my service as "excellent" so that I can be compensated for assisting you today. Otherwise, click "reply" or "continue conversation" for continued dialog with me.

VERY IMPORTANT - IF you are having DIFFICULTY RATING, please let me know IMMEDIATELY. If you don't rate my response, I don't get paid even though your deposit is retained by the site. Thanks for your cooperation in this matter.
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15588
Experience: Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
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Megan C
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Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level