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Robin D.
Robin D., Senior Tax Advisor 4
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15731
Experience:  15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
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In 2007 my wife and I filed seperately because we were divorcing.

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In 2007 my wife and I filed seperately because we were divorcing. I filed mine early in 2008, she never filed and has never filed since. NOW, in 2011, and she is 4 returns behind. She has decided she will file for 2007 and wants me to pay 1/2 of whatever she will owe. She has not received any notices from the IRS. This is something she decided she needs to do "just in case" We lived in Arizona at the time. We divorced early 2008 before filing time, so I filed mine and never thought about it again. The income she would have filed on was her personal retirement funds or IRA. Not taxable until taken out, I think. I had no access to them, even if she was deceased, but apparently she is telling me I am still responsible for my share she took out for the tax owed on them. She has not talked to the IRS, just a CPA. Apparently she will file this return and wants me to send her 1/2 of the amount that will be due. Since I filed in 2007, the IRS is probably fine with me because I always file. Do you think the IRS even knows she did not file a seperate return or even cares at this point, since I did? I have a new wife and life and the amount of money she is wanting is outrageous and I can't do it. I am retired military and own 1 car and 1 motorhome. She says they will take my retirement and autos if I do not pay her. I never got a notice from IRS and either has she. What is the best advise for me after 5 years? My new wife and I have items together and now we are worried about those things, since my current wife owned these items before I came into the picture. I know all about community state and since we were married in 2007, but seperated, that all income is together, but in this case I left, she took out her retirement and went on her way and I filed, she did not and now here I sit. She has no paperwork to give me, no notices or anything in writing to share. I guess I need to know the right questions to ask. Thanks.

Robin D :

Hello and thank you for using Just Answer
Under the community property tax laws for Arizona you each should have listed on your tax returns for 2007 (provided you were still legally married on Dec 31 2007) All your own income and half of the other's income. If you completed your return correctly and you reported all income that you had knowledge of then you are fine and are not held responsible for the reporting of the other party. She should be requesting to know what half your income was for that year not that you owe her half her tax liablity.
You asked about the IRS attaching your present wife's property. In Arizona, all separate property of the liable spouse(you) is available. In addition, 100% of community property traceable to or contributed by the liable spouse and 50% of all other community property would also be available. In short they could attach half of the communtity property for any old tax debt you brought into the marriage.


I need to clarify your last paragraph. Are you saying that what my new spouse has in her name only like her home and her car can be attached for this old tax debt even though these were hers before our marriage and still in her name only. We were going to add me, but now we wont. Also, we currently live in Texas.

Robin D :

Ok, let me look up Texas law on that. I was going by Arizona


Sorry, it sent the last reply before I was done. I am not sure what I am reading with your reply.Also, I left our marriage before the ex wife received any 1099's if she ever did, so I did not know the amount. So, no, I only filed on my income only. If I read your reply correctly, I need to find out what my ex wife 1099's and w-2's were for 2007 and take one half of that and my own income and do the tax from that info? And the ex wife was suppose to do the same. Our agreement was she file hers and I file mine. Now that she is concerned she is backing out of the agreement. Can I do fraud. Is there any way I can keep out of all this and not pay

Robin D :

Yes possibly so. The marriage and it's community property standing ended when the divorce became final. This means that any community property that was still there when the divorce was final could have been attached. Since you did not include her income on your return you will need to prepare an amended return showing half for the 2007 tax year. This way you are covered and she is going to have to come up with her own tax payments

Robin D :

She n

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I know you accepted but I am not finished.

She needs to file her own return and pay her debt. This means she would have to report your half of income too and pay.

You are not responsible for her tax debt, neither would your new wife

Any amount you owed from your tax return then could be used against community property in texas. Texas does protect a homestead more though then Az


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ok Robin, I finally understand, I think. Just clarify one thing. My current's wife's home is in her name only right now and on homestead. Her car is in her name only and she has her own retirement income, again retired military and social security. Can any of these things be attached if this tax debt does not get paid? All I have that is in my name only is my military retirement. We have not got around to adding me. It appears we better not until this thing is resolved. I do not want to amend my 2007 return. I will ask the ex wife to file hers as she was suppose to do in the first place and find a way to come up with 1/2 of the amount due. She can be the only one that signs that return. It's a shame that she drew her cash out before Dec 31st 2007, lived on it and I never got the benefit of it's use but I have to pay for it as income I never received. My concern right now is that nothing that belongs to my current wife and in her name only before and after our marriage will be affected if a lien or attachment happens due to non payment. She has nothing to do with any of this. If I don't pay the ex wife she says she will contact the IRS and let them know my 2007 return is incorrect and have them come after me. Robin, thanks again for all this help.

The only way that any of your property or the property that you and your current wife own could be attached would be if you or she (current wife) has a tax debt. Nothing that your previous wife owes would be relevant for either of you.

In Texas Community property" is any property acquired by either or both spouses during marriage by other than gift or inheritance. This includes virtually everything purchased during marriage. This means any property purchased after you got married even if in one or the other's name.

So, the IRS could attach all of your property, half of community property, and half of your spouse's property if YOU owed a tax debt.

Since you filed your taxes, you should file an amended return and include her (Previous spouse) half. You will have to owe something but then you are done. She will be responsible for her own debt. Had you filed a joint return with her it would be different but you did not so she will need to come up with her own funds for the money she withdrew

I find it very unlikely that the IRS did not contact her already. !099Rs are issued when you take out money and a copy goes to the IRS. She may have been contacted already but you would not have received anything because you did not file together.

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