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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 16576
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
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I have a tax IRS debt question involving my divorce. My soon

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I have a tax IRS debt question involving my divorce. My soon to be ex husband and I owe the IRS for past taxes, $13,261 for 2010 and another $4,093 for 2011. He has agreed to pay these in our divorce settlement. This amount that is due is from him purchasing a home prior to our marriage in 2010 in which he cashed in on his 401K and from him claiming too many deductions on his W9. My income was around $35,000 per year and would never warrant this amount of taxes being owed. His income was around $120,00 per year. We did file married filing jointly and I did sign the tax forms.

I've recently received notification from the IRS stating that if I don't respond by July 12th they will be levying them from me. I've been in contact with my estranged spouse and he claims that he has "stopped" the IRS from attempting to garnish our wages by filing a 47 page document justifying what he's able to per month.

I've been told that I don't qualify for the Innocent Spouse relief, but would really like to know for sure. Desperate for answers to get them off my back and have my estranged spouse pay as he has agreed.

I do not have any real estate in my name nor ability to benefit from the sale of the previous home back in IL

Thank you!

MyVirtualCPA :

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.

MyVirtualCPA :

According to your statement, your ex spouse has agreed to pay the tax debt as it relates to your joint obligations

MyVirtualCPA :

Even though he has agreed to this, the IRS can still look to you for payment

MyVirtualCPA :

BUT you would talk to your family attorney and tell them about your sitaution. Since your husband agreed to pay these payments, the family court system can make him pay this, or pay you back for what you had to pay

MyVirtualCPA :

Now, to get innocent spouse relief there would have to be erroneous items on your tax return (such as unreported income or overstated expenses) that you did not know about, or did not have reason to know about

MyVirtualCPA :

and at the time you signed the return you thought it was true and correct

MyVirtualCPA :

Now, if you file a correct return and there's just a liability then you both have to deal with that liability

MyVirtualCPA :

Publication 971 deals with this: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p971.pdf

MyVirtualCPA :

But, in your case your relief will come from the court with jurisdiction over the divorce. The IRS operates under federal law, and they don't have to go by what's on your divorce decree

Customer:

I was aware that the what it agreed to in the divorce papers re:the tax debt doesn't matter to the IRS.

MyVirtualCPA :

How to have your estranged spouse pay is to get relief from the court with jurisdiction over your divorce

Customer:

What about the ex making payment arrangements with the IRS? Will they just accept his re-payment?

MyVirtualCPA :

Yes, if he makes payment arrangements with them they will stop coming after you

MyVirtualCPA :

because they will have a payment plan on that debt

Customer:

When I contact the IRS is there anything I should be careful not to discuss?

MyVirtualCPA :

Well when you contact them just talk about the agreement you had with your ex, and just keep the topic on the tax debt owed. That's it

Customer:

will they acknowledge such said agreement that the ex has made with them?

MyVirtualCPA :

They should acknowledge a payment plan agreement that is made on a joint debt

MyVirtualCPA :

they would not acknowledge a payment plan on anything he has while filing on his own

Customer:

To be honest, after my bills are paid I don't have any money to pay them. I'm afraid that they'll try to force me into paying on this too.

MyVirtualCPA :

They can say what they want to scare you, to get you to pay, but in the end you can find relief through the court where your divorce took place

MyVirtualCPA :

They are more likely to go after him, though because he actually has assets

Customer:

Our divorce hasn't been filed at this point in time

MyVirtualCPA :

Once that takes place, if he's agreed to pay the bill then there are no worries. Ultimately he has taken responsibility for this debt

MyVirtualCPA :

So I wouldn't worry too much

Customer:

But I do still need to contact them as indicated in this letter, correct?

MyVirtualCPA :

Yes, I would definitely contact them as it says in the letter

MyVirtualCPA :

and explain the situation to them

MyVirtualCPA :

Is there anything else you need assistance with tonight?

Customer:

Ok, thank you. I've been dreading to make this call to them, but you have answered my concerns. And I like that you added that he assets and that would be more likely to go after him.

MyVirtualCPA :

Yes, they are more interested in income and assets. If you have none, they tend to leave you alone.

MyVirtualCPA :

I'm glad I could address your concerns. If you would, please take a minute to rate my response as "excellent" so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Customer:

Thank you again!!

Customer:

Will do!

MyVirtualCPA :

You're welcome. Have a great night

MyVirtualCPA :

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