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jgordosea, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3159
Experience:  I've prepared all types of taxes since 1987.
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Good Morning, I filed jointly with my wife this year.

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Good Morning,
I filed jointly with my wife this year. We have two children as well. My wife did not work at all last year. We went ahead and spent the tax return prior to March 15. March 15 is the day that my wife decide to leave the household and ask for a divorce. She is no claiming that she rates half of the tax return. I understand how this would be posibble if the money was spent from our joint account prior to our seperation date.Any advise on this would be greatly appricated!



There is nothing in tax law that says how much, if any, of a joint return would be his or hers. As far as the IRS is concerned the whole amount of tax and the whole amount of refund is joint and several. That is, the tax due (or refund) belongs to both of you or either of you.


Since there is no division of the amounts under tax law, whether one spouse is entitled to any of the refund is a matter for the state laws of divorce and property settlement.


You will have to confirm with your lawyer, but my experience is that money already spent is not subject to being divided or can be claimed by a spouse as something to which she is entitled.


I hope this helps to know that she does not have any legal claim under the tax laws. to any certain part of a tax refund simply because she filed jointly.


Please ask if you need clarification.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your quick repsonse. I just want to make sure what I have to prepare for. I was already under the inpression that any type of money spent prior to the day of seperation shoud not matter and in this case my tax return. How could she of claimed anything if she did not work a day during last year?

Hello again,


As mentioned she and you were jointly liable for the tax and jointly due any refund.

But, the tax law does not guarantee any portion to either party.


As to how she or her lawyer can claim something we can only guess - but I can claim to be able to flap my wings and fly and that does not make it so.

Nonetheless there is a bit of a benefit by having had a spouse on the return as compared to single filing as you got another exemption amount and used the married instead of single tables so that is maybe a reason she might be entitled to some of the refund.


Hope this clarifies for you though I can not really tell you what is the basis for the claim (except it is possible to ask or claim anything whether or not true).



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