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Peter Griesch
Peter Griesch,
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 324
Experience:  Tax Counsel at AIG, Inc.
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I am married and my husband is incarcerated foreseeable

Customer Question

I am married and my husband is incarcerated for the foreseeable future. We have always filed our taxes, married jointly. Should I consider filing married/separately? I read on a tax blog that my husband must file his taxes, if he earns income. My understanding is that withdrawing from an IRA, in order to pay legal fees, is a taxable event. It further stated that while filing is mandatory....the payment of taxes is suspended while he's incarcerated. Is this accurate? If payment of his taxes are suspended, perhaps I should consider filing separately so his tax burden won't have to be paid now? Can you confirm that taxes, and payments thereof, are suspended while in jail? I understand they would be due when he got out.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Peter Griesch replied 8 months ago.

Even though he is incarcerated, he is still required to file a return and pay tax. Since you are married, this is likely martial income, especially since you've been filing jointly.

An exception will be if you file for "innocent spouse relief," meaning the taxable income was tied to your husband's criminal wrongdoing, and you ask the IRS to determine that only he should be liable for that portion of the taxes. If granted, you are not responsible for any income incurred solely by him.

You can request innocent spouse relief by filing a form 8857, which can be found on the IRS website.

Expert:  Peter Griesch replied 8 months ago.

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