Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
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.
According to your statement, your ex spouse has agreed to pay the tax debt as it relates to your joint obligations
Even though he has agreed to this, the IRS can still look to you for payment
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
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
and at the time you signed the return you thought it was true and correct
Now, if you file a correct return and there's just a liability then you both have to deal with that liability
Publication 971 deals with this: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p971.pdf
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
I was aware that the what it agreed to in the divorce papers re:the tax debt doesn't matter to the IRS.
How to have your estranged spouse pay is to get relief from the court with jurisdiction over your divorce
What about the ex making payment arrangements with the IRS? Will they just accept his re-payment?
Yes, if he makes payment arrangements with them they will stop coming after you
because they will have a payment plan on that debt
When I contact the IRS is there anything I should be careful not to discuss?
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
will they acknowledge such said agreement that the ex has made with them?
They should acknowledge a payment plan agreement that is made on a joint debt
they would not acknowledge a payment plan on anything he has while filing on his own
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.
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
They are more likely to go after him, though because he actually has assets
Our divorce hasn't been filed at this point in time
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
So I wouldn't worry too much
But I do still need to contact them as indicated in this letter, correct?
Yes, I would definitely contact them as it says in the letter
and explain the situation to them
Is there anything else you need assistance with tonight?
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.
Yes, they are more interested in income and assets. If you have none, they tend to leave you alone.
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Thank you again!!
You're welcome. Have a great night
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