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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10172
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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On March 10th, 2015, a judge granted my divorce from my husband

Customer Question

On March 10th, 2015, a judge granted my divorce from my husband of 26 yrs who had been incarcerated for white collar fraud. At the hearing the Judge awarded me my husband's pension of 324.00 a month, and my husband was in agreement with this as I have a son in college and I needed to provide for him.
After 3 months of claiming the pension, the IRS intercepted the pension, saying that my ex-husband owed them money. They had levied for this money on the 11th April 2015, a month after the Judge had awarded it to me.
How can I enforce the Judge's decision at the March 1oth hearing?? I do not have the money to hire an attorney.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
Hi,...Under federal supremacy state court judges rulings do not supercede federal tax law....However, you DO have some options...Send evidence that the pension was awarded along with a petition for what's called innocent spouse relief to IRS....See this from IRS here: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc205.html...There are three types of relief from joint and several liability for spouses who filed joint returns:Innocent Spouse Relief provides you relief from additional tax you owe if your spouse or former spouse failed to report income, reported income improperly or claimed improper deductions or credits.Separation of Liability Relief provides for the allocation of additional tax owed between you and your former spouse or your current spouse from whom you are separated when an item was not reported properly on a joint return. The tax allocated to you is the amount for which you are responsible.Equitable Relief may apply when you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief for something not reported properly on a joint return and generally attributable to your spouse. You may also qualify for equitable relief if the amount of tax reported is correct on your joint return but the tax was not paid with the return....Also, you can petition the judge (showing evidence of the garnishment by IRS) to make a change under equitable relief to compensate for this attachment of the pension....To seek innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or equitable relief, you should submit to the IRS a completed Form 8857(PDF), Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, or a written statement containing the same information required on Form 8857
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I never filed joint returns with my ex husband. Since my ex is in prison there is no income or monies to claim, unless I can make a claim against his social security, but that also stopped when I remarried in August 2015. Do I have any claim against his social security now?
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
you can ask the judge to grant a garnishment of the Social Security....Given the pension issue, this certainly would be looked at as a good proxy....See this from Social Security:..Help TopicsYour Social Security PaymentsGarnishmentCan my Social Security benefits be garnished for alimony, child support or restitution?We can withhold Social Security benefits to enforce your legal obligation to pay child support, alimony or restitution. State laws determine a valid garnishment order. By law, we garnish current and continuing monthly benefits. We do not make retroactive adjustments. ...Once you've received the order, you take this to the local social security Field Office and they enter into Social Security's Court Ordered Garnishment System (COGS)....https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202410210...See section 462 of the Social Security Act. This section defines the terms used in section 459 and specifically provides that monthly Social Security benefits are considered moneys subject to legal process brought by an individual to enforce a legal obligation to provide child support or to make alimony payments.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Like I say, I do not have spare money to spend on phone calls, I have been passed around enough with no one, it seems, able to help me. Thanks for your input anyway.
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
sorry, but I've given you all of the information. ...Yes, you CAN garnish Social Security ... but would need to get an order from the judge....And if you document that IRS has taken (garnished the pension) that should be no problem ... then you just take that to social security to have it entered into the COGS system...AND I still believe that you should contact IRS and show them that the pension was awarded ... They may work with you, especially if you go into an local field office...https://www.irs.gov/uac/contact-my-local-office-in-florida...There's just no reason not to try both of these
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
Did you see my follow-up answer?...If so, and you DON’T have other questions … I'd appreciate a positive rating (using the smile or stars on your screen, and then clicking “submit”)…I receive no crediting at all unless you rate in this way....Thank you!Lane……I hold a law degree, (concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law), an MBA, (specialization in finance & tax), as well as CFP and CRPS designations. - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, both for-profit and non-profit, and tax advice, on three continents, since 1986.

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