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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Prefer a Texas attorney but in any case, here is my dilemma I

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Prefer a Texas attorney but in any case, here is my dilemma:
I live in Texas. I want to get married but I have considerable federal income tax debt and have been trying to get to the point of being able to make an Offer in Compromise. I really have no assets other than some cash that I use to live on and run my business, so there is not much to compromise with. My reason for getting into tax trouble is that I am a self-employed consultant whose income has fluctuated greatly from year to year. Just when it seems I have a good thing going the bottom falls out, as it has once again. Although I can earn money, I cannot predict with any degree of certainty how much I will earn on a regular basis.
My fiancée has a home that’s way upside down mortgage-wise but she is in a situation where she soon (like, this week) might get control of her mother’s assets because her mother is dying. My fiancée has a financial power of attorney over her mother’s assets. He mother has a condo worth around $200K that my fiancée would like to sell. My fiancée wants to open a joint bank account with me to move some of her mother’s money now, before we get married. She wants to do this because she feels I would be better suited emotionally to pay her mother’s bills, etc. My fiancée also has some trust money that may become partially available in a couple of months. She wants to use the money to fix up the house, pay off her car loan and possibly pay off my car loan and buy me a new car.
My questions are:
Will my fiancée be liable for my premarital federal tax debt and if so, to what degree?
If she puts me on the deed to her house does that automatically make the house community property?
If she lists me as an authorized signer (instead of a joint account holder) on the account she plans to open would that constitute my having a community interest in that account?
Would some kind of prenuptial agreement help us avoid her being liable for my premarital tax debts insofar as her premarital and post-marital assets – such as an inheritance or trust distribution – are concerned?
How would filing a joint homestead on the home affect the IRS’s ability to go after the home? (Not that they would because it’s upside-down. But I want to avoid having a tax lien filed against the home if possible.)
If my wife buys a car in her name with the trust money and lets me drive it, would the car be considered community property that the IRS could go after?
Hello,



Welcome to JustAnswer and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.



I am going to answer your question one by one, and feel free to follow up if you have anything else.




Will my fiancée be liable for my premarital federal tax debt and if so, to what degree?



No. This is pre-marital debt, so she will not be liable, but if she and you have a checking account jointly, then it can be levied, and while Texas disallows most levies, IRS is excluded, i.e. they can.




If she puts me on the deed to her house does that automatically make the house community property?



Yes - Texas is very preferential to community property. A name on a title/deed makes you co-owner, and the property liable for lien.



If she lists me as an authorized signer (instead of a joint account holder) on the account she plans to open would that constitute my having a community interest in that account?



Yes - even that would do it.




Would some kind of prenuptial agreement help us avoid her being liable for my premarital tax debts insofar as her premarital and post-marital assets – such as an inheritance or trust distribution – are concerned?



No - you cannot make a contract with HER to avoid debt to the IRS. So if you agree with her in a pre/post -nuptial agreement that only you'd be liable, joint property can still be attached.




How would filing a joint homestead on the home affect the IRS’s ability to go after the home? (Not that they would because it’s upside-down. But I want to avoid having a tax lien filed against the home if possible.)



A homestead will not protect your property from a IRS tax lien, but remember - all they can do anyways is place a lien on it. They won't be able to take it away (homesteaded or not) if it is your principle home.



If my wife buys a car in her name with the trust money and lets me drive it, would the car be considered community property that the IRS could go after?



No, it'd be hers. As long as the money used to purchase it came from her.



Definition of community property in Texas and in general: Owned before marriage by one spouse; or acquired by gift or will or similar legal way by spouse during marriage; or declared as such by prenup or postup (don’t apply in your case for IRS purposes); or traceable property purchased by one spouse only; or tort Recovery for personal injury, but not medical expenses or loss of earning capacity.



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Ely and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you very much for the prompt reply.

Just to clarify: Will my fiancée's post-marriage inheritance or trust distributions be considered community property, on which the IRS can levy my 50%?

Also, technically the trust won't become available to her for another three years but she has initiated legal action to get some of it now – or as soon as possible. Suppose – before the IRS gets wind of it – she gets some money and buys home improvements, pays off her car loan, etc. If there are no liens filed in Texas (I moved here from Las Vegas in November of 2009 and the IRS hasn’t filed any local liens yet) would her actions be legal and proper?


What I would like to do for my Offer in Compromise is to a make a lump-sum offer that would come from the early trust distribution or from her inheritance. Do you think this would fly?

Also, I would like to give you a bonus… How can I do that?

Hello - please give me a second while I follow up...
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Okay - Tried to give you a bonus but it didn't seem to go through and my credit card was not charged. Any suggestions?
Hello,



Will my fiancée's post-marriage inheritance or trust distributions be considered community property, on which the IRS can levy my 50%?

Absolutely not UNLESS she puts it into a joint account, so don't do that.




Also, technically the trust won't become available to her for another three years but she has initiated legal action to get some of it now – or as soon as possible. Suppose – before the IRS gets wind of it – she gets some money and buys home improvements, pays off her car loan, etc. If there are no liens filed in Texas (I moved here from Las Vegas in November of 2009 and the IRS hasn’t filed any local liens yet) would her actions be legal and proper?




Sure. This is her own property; the IRS cannot touch it and it is not considered yours at all. She can do whatever she wishes with it.


I appreciate the bonus attempt - not sure why it did not work. You may always press ACCEPT again, and that would count, but it would be a $68 charge. You may also contact JustAnswer [email protected] to facilitate a bonus manually, I believe. But either way, I thank you kindly.









Ely and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks. Just sent you a bonus. Reason it didn't go through before was because my bank froze the transaction because it was the third ($1 + $67 + $68) to JustAnswer in a relatively short time. Had to call bank to unfreeze payment to JA.
Again, thank you - I do appreciate it. Please let me know if you need anything else, it is of course, free of charge as a follow up.

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