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Legal Questions about Joint Tax Returns

Couples can sometimes have a hard time figuring out how to file a joint tax return. Joint tax returns are pretty normal, but knowing what joint tax bracket your family falls in, and what the joint tax filing benefits are can often result in questions about joint tax assessment and how to properly file a joint tax return. If you have had a divorce, joint tax refunds can also lead to questions. Below are the top joint tax questions answered by Experts.

After a divorce what right does someone have if their share of the joint tax return has not arrived

If you have no received your half of the money from a joint tax return, you may be able to take your ex-spouse to court for it. The tax returns are generally to be split equally. You can mention that in court, and produce proof that the ex-spouse is withholding the money from you. If the divorce is completed, the other spouse may be ordered by the court to pay it right then. If the divorce has not been finalized as yet, the judge may order that the money be put in escrow until the divorce is finalized.

If a divorced couple owes back taxes, can one spouse pay off the IRS debt and sue the ex spouse for their portion of the debt?

If a divorced person pays an IRS debt that is jointly owed by both parties, the one that has paid the debt can take the opposite party to court to recover the amount that was above and beyond what was rightfully owed by them. Documentation of the total amount of their IRS tax debt, along with proof of the payment made may be needed in court to establish the case.

After a divorce can the spouse be responsible for repaying the other spouse’s IRS debt?

If the debt was incurred during marriage, the government may see it as a joint debt. In such an event, you would be responsible to repay all of such debt if the other spouse isn’t paying anything. However, you can go back to the court and the judge can order a certain amount be paid by both parties.

Can a non-married couple file a joint tax return?

Under U.S. Tax Law, a boyfriend and girlfriend may not file a federal joint return. In order to file a joint return, you have to be married to each other as of the last day of the tax year for which you are filing (December 31st.)

If someone is legally married can they file for joint tax return with someone else?

The U.S. tax laws state that, in order to file a joint tax, the two parties must be married as of the last day of the tax year in which they are filing the taxes. However, the party that is considered the dependent can be claimed on someone else’s tax return. This is provided they were a dependent on another party to provide for over half of their living expenses for more than 6 months in the year.

Dealing with the IRS is hard enough, but to add in filing a joint tax return can often bring many unanswered questions. Calling the IRS for specific joint tax return questions can result in sitting on hold for hours on end waiting for an answer, especially around tax season.
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Recent Joint Tax Return Questions

  • My husband has a trust that was set up before we married.

    My husband has a trust that was set up before we married. After marriage he insisted that we file a joint tax return. We did this for the 7 years prior to his death. Does filing a joint return qualify as comingling funds? We lived in Texas.
  • LEGALEASE only please:You have helped me immensely....I

    LEGALEASE only please:



    You have helped me immensely....

    I do recap some of the things I had mentioned before. Also, I understood your previous response about Child Enforcement making it a more difficult process for the ex to try and modify support. It is too easy for him to just respond to the filed papers in an Non Child Enforcement process.

    In regards XXXXX XXXXX support, I am curious if there is any benefit to stay with the Clearinghouse County of Maricopa or transfer to a state agency child enforcement?

    Any pros and cons?

    Since I cannot afford a lawyer, are paralegal services good enough? I see that they fill the papers for me.

    Could I handle this in court without representation or is it way to complex?

    Between child support wages ($1200) and medical expenses ($1600) which count as support ex is behind.

    Does Child Enforcement add the unpaid medical and dental expenses to his past and future support payments? Are the medical expense considered support to them?

    The decree says he is supposed to pay 55% of dental and medical. He has never paid anything

    He stopped woking and I believe he is working under table. He says that he needed time off due to migranes and back pain which he started spending all this time getting tested at hospital and put on meds. He is in his thirties and works as a laborer.

    If he tries and modifies/reduces the support payment would the judge likely excuse his responsibility to work due to his migranes and back pain?

    He is 35 years old.

    He is NOT receiving disability from the government for this ailments. He just may be able to come up with doctors notes saying too much pain to work since he is a laborer.

    He has no assets and no monies in the bank or any kind of savings or investments. He just married a well to do woman that is allowing him to chill.

    In 2009 he was making over $55,000 and then the economy took a turn and he started earning around $22,000. He stayed content with that. We split in 2011.

    Any good chance that the judge would say well you are in your thirties and were capable of making a decent income before and should come up with the monies and work?

    Or would he likely gain the judges sympathy and see how this poor guy is struggling?

    I would be hoping that jail time, revoking passport and drivers license would scare him enough into getting a job and paying to support our child's education and well being. I think you need to be $5000 in arears before any of this would kick in.

    I am just not sure if and why I should consider switching to child enforcement and what it entails or if there are any negatives.

    What happens with the Child Enforcement agency process if he works in the future or his wages change? Will they be in the know?

    Thank you for your time here...
  • My wife had me move her to Florida and then asked me to leave.

    My wife had me move her to Florida and then asked me to leave. We have a 14 month old that is being exclusive breast fed. My wife claims she is unable to work and do that. At the beginning of the unexpected pregnancy we discussed at length the details of care for baby. I never wanted a baby, she knew that, lied to me about her cycle dates. Neither here nor there I guess, sorry. Anyway, I told her she would not have to work thru pregnancy and first year of baby. And that I would marry her, which, unfortunately I did 1 month before baby got here. Now, of course, I'm madly in love with baby, willingly take care of all her needs. But my wife has sense of entitlement bordering on pathological. What is my responsibility to keep paying ALL her bills in FL, letting her keep our car I bought since baby was coming. She's lied to me that she filed our joint tax return for 2012. Now she says filing separate and she's claiming baby, tho she had no income at all last 2 years. She's using my financial accreditation, I guess you'd say, to apply for a mortgage adjustment on her in foreclosure home. I want to pull the plug on that. (We've applied twice before, gotten favorable offers, and her indecisiveness allowed the deadline to pass.)
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