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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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My new husband is sorting out and paying back taxes from errors

Resolved Question:

My new husband is sorting out and paying back taxes from errors he has made and negligent practice in years before our marriage.
I am afraid to file joint because I do not want to attract attention or an audit for myself (who has been honest and on time always).

Is this a justified concern of mine?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.

Hello acorn,


You cannot be held personally responsible for any tax issues which occured prior to your marriage. However, if your husband owes back taxes for prior years, if you file a joint return with him, the IRS will withold any refund that the two of you have coming to satisfy his tax debt.


You can avoid this by either filing separately, or if you file a joint return then you should also file Form 8379 for Injured Spouse. By filing this form the IRS would still issue a percentage of the refund which pertains to your percentage of the income.


The only other thing to be concerned about is that any time that you file a joint return, each spouse becomes collectively and individually responsible for the tax liability for that year. So you would want to make certain that any return you file jointly with your spouse is an accurate accounting of your affairs. If the IRS were to discover errors on that return or find that income had been under reported, you would both be held responsible for that tax bill.


If this was helpful please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.


Thank you acorn



Merlo and 3 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you this is very helpful
Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.

Thank you acorn