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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10846
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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I am now in Switzerland. When I was in New York 2 1/2 years

Customer Question

I am now in Switzerland. When I was in New York 2 1/2 years ago, I filed for spouse relief because my ex husband never informed me about our taxes information and wanted to handle everything without telling me that he never paid. I got some years of tax relief except for 3 years because my ex husband never gave the IRS my last W6 documents despite the fact that I told them that I had no say on how my husband took care of our taxes. He then asked for divorce and sent me back to Switzerland telling me that wouldn't give me anything but was taking care of the taxes since it was his entire fault. When I asked him to tell me where the situation was, by mail, his answers are always vague and he told me that everything was ok since he has an agreement with IRS. Given our history, I don't totally trust him. Today I am looking for a sponsor in New York (since I gave my green card) to come back because I miss the States. My questions are:
I there today something I can do to protect myself ?
Does the IRS, if I find a job in New York, take everything I earn so I can't pay for expenses and rent ?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

Hi Jennifer. My name's Lane.

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Because IRS has not yet attempted to collect anything from you, I WOULD file form 8857 (you can use one for for multiple years) to protect yourself from tax debt for any tax year where there a joint return filed.

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You can explain in a cover letter, exactly what you've said here. They will then put that information together with what they know about your ex - and given what you've said here, you should be fine.

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From IRS:

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"You should file Form 8857 as soon as you become aware of a tax liability for which you believe only your spouse or former spouse should be held. The following are some of the ways you may become aware of such a liability."

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What they mean by that is that you've received notice of an audit or they've sent you a notice.

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Your sending the new form becasue of your suspicions will only be seen as a show of good faith AND an attempt to use the relief as intended - (for events you were not aware of or could not control).

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Since he law changed in 1998 you generally must file Form 8857 no later than 2 years after the first IRS attempt to collect the tax from you.

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If they have not given notice, or made an attempt to collect from you, then it is not too late to file.

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If using the U.S. Postal Service, please mail the Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to:

Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 120053
Covington, KY 41012

OR

If using a private delivery service, please mail the Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to:

Internal Revenue Service
201 W. Rivercenter Blvd.
Stop 840F
Covington, KY 41011

OR

You may fax the Form 8857 and attachments to the IRS at(###) ###-####

Please write your name and social security number on any attachments

Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

I would include the fact that your husband claimed to have handled everything and your were under the impression that the W-2?'s were handled as well.

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Finally if those three years ARE still out there as YOUR tax debt, there is a statute of limitations on their ability to collect (10 years) AND there is other relief (Offer In Compromise) - I can help you with that - as well.

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(I have clients coming in to my office at 4:30, but I'll be checking back in after 5:30 or so)

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Please let me know of any further questions you have at all

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Lane

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I hold a law degree, with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in finance, a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
They collected already from me when I was living in the New York
That is the reason I filed for spouse relief and was not exempt because my husband didn't send my w6 form.
If I go back to New York can the Irs take my salary therefore not allowing me to pay for my rent and other expenses.
Czn I contest after 3 years thrir fecidionn about my spousr relief.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I would prefer to have answers via email because it is already late here.
Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

I'm so sorry, but we experts only have one interface. Customer Service may be able to send this through email.

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IRS can garnish, but cannot not take ALL of it.

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IRS assesses your tax, you will generally receive notice and a Demand for Payment of the amount due. If you fail to pay this invoice, at some point after you will receive a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and a Notice of Your Right to a Hearing.
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These last two documents must be sent at least 30 days before the IRS begins to garnish your wages. Before it reaches this point, you should contact the IRS and attempt to resolve the issue, possibly by submitting a request to get on a payment plan.

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As far as the amount ... (IF it got to that point ... Again, you will have options to respond, and ask for payment plans, or theOffer in Compromise I mentioned above (OIC), or even reassert spousal relief, with the claim that that you DID give the W-2s to your husband) ... the amount is based on tables.

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For 2016 for example, a single parent with two children who files as head of household can be left with as little as $412.50 per week. This means that if you earn $1,000 per week, the IRS takes $587.50 of it, and if you earn $2,000 per week, it can take $1,587.50. However, the amount of your garnishment will depend on how much tax you owe.

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Unless IRS agrees to an alternative resolution, such as a payment plan, or the OIC, there are a limited number of circumstances that require the IRS to cease garnishing your wages before your balance is paid in full. These include:

  • The IRS discovers that the time period to collect the tax from you expired before it served the garnishment notice
  • The IRS did not provide you the full 30 days to respond to the notice
  • You declare bankruptcy
  • The agency is considering your offer in compromise or request for installment plan when an appeal is in process.

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Finally, it's always possible to request an appeals conference during the initial 30-day period after receiving your final notices. This is referred to as a Collections Due Process (CDP) hearing.

Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

Please let me know if you have ANY questions at all, before rating me.

I hope you’ll rate me (using those stars, or faces on your screen, by clicking submit) based on thoroughness and accuracy, rather than any good news / bad news content.

Otherwise I’ll receive no compensation for the work here at all, from JustAnswer.

Thank you!

Lane

(I'll be online tomorrow as well)