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Barbara, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3376
Experience:  18+ years of experience in tax preparation; 25+ years of experience as a real estate/corporate paralegal.
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Please Help. My ex died recently with unfiled tax returns for

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Please Help. My ex died recently with unfiled tax returns for 2010 and 2011 2012.we were separated long before he died but filed jointly for 2007 2008 and 2009.i don't make much.only worked retail.he owed back taxes so we had to do the innocent spouse form. he didnt get to file 2010 2011 but filed and extension for all I want to do is do my taxes for 2010 and 2011 and 2012 how do I go about doing this? Am I going to be responsible for his back taxes owed? do I contact the IRS about this and inform them of his death.where do I from
Here? Please help.

Welcome and thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you with your tax question.


First, please accept my deepest sympathy.


You may file your 2010, 2011 and 2012 tax returns using the married filing jointly filing status, but be sure to include the injured/innocent spouse form for each year. The IRS will take his portion of the refund (if any) and apply it to any outstanding tax debt, and you will receive your portion of the refund. If your ex passed away in 2012, you would list his date of death on the 2012 tax return. If he passed away in 2013, you would list his date of death on your 2013 tax return. You will not be responsible for his outstanding tax obligations.


Please let me know if you require further information or clarification on this. Thank you and best regards.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you very much for your help.i have another question.please be patient with me because i really do not know what to do.i have been in a relationship for about a year ex and I were long separated before he fiancé and I now are planning to get married. do I file those taxes before I remarry? what effect would that have if I marry before I file those unfiled taxes from my previous marriage? Also I do not have all my w-2s from those previous years.he had it and I don' do I go about getting them.what do I do?

Hi, Ann.


You can use the married filing jointly with your fiancé for the year you get married. If that year is 2013, and your ex is required to file a tax return for 2013, you would file his tax return as married filing separate.


If you do not have your W-2s, you can request a copy of your transcript from the IRS. How you can do this is as follows:


You may order a transcript online at, or by calling(NNN) NNN-NNNN You will receive your W-2 information within 5-10 business days.


Please let me know if you require additional information or clarification.


Thank you.







Barbara and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thank you very there a way I can contact you be email should I have any other questions? ill pay you. right now those are all the questions I can think about but I may have other questions later on.please let me know

Hi, Ann.


You can put "for bkb1956 or Barb" in the subject line of any questions you may have, and I will be happy to assist you.


Thanks again.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi.i have another question please.i just need clarification. so getting married before filing those unfiled taxes for 2010-2011-2012 should be ok? I don't want my fiancé to be responsible for what my ex owed because we are married.

Hi, Ann.


Your fiancé will not be responsible for your ex's tax liability, but I would file those tax returns as soon as possible, especially since your tax returns need to be filed, too.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.
am I able to file 2010-11 and 12 as married filing separate? I have one child and would like to see if I can get a refund for those years. or do I have to file joint

You are able to file married filing separate, but that is the least favorable filing status, especially when you have a child because you lose many of the credits that would be available to you. I would use the married filing jointly filing status and the injured spouse form with your returns for those years. You will have to mail in your tax returns, and the processing time is usually a bit longer with an innocent/injured spouse form, but it may be worth the wait for you to do so.



Hi, Ann.


I hate to confuse the issue, but there is another aspect you may want to consider which a colleague mentioned. I did not address it in any of my previous answers because I got the impression that you were trying to find out the best way to file both your and your ex's taxes.


Since you stated you were separated from your ex for a long time and have a child, you could choose to file as Head of Household and not bother with your ex's tax returns at all.


Please let me know if you need any clarification on this.





Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Barb,

Thank I can file head of household for the 3 years unfiled taxes even if we were not legally separated? all I really want to do now is take care of my tax this point getting a refund doesn't really matter anymore.i just don't want the IRS to come after me for the taxes he owed before we got married.i guess another question is if I file head of household for those 3 years that were not filed wouldn't they come after me because we filed joint for 2 maybe 3 years.i believe we filed joint for 2008-2009.and even when we used the injured spouse form I still never got a refund.i remember we got letters from the IRS that whatever refund I was due was being applied to what he owed. please help
Me understand and thank you very much

Hi, Ann.


You can file Head of Household for the 3 years even though you were not legally separated as long as you were not living together. You, individually, are not responsible for the taxes he owed prior to your marriage to him. You probably did not receive a refund when you filed jointly even though you used the injured spouse form because he had the majority/all of the income and there was basically no part of the refund to apportion to you.


Let me know if you need any other information on this.


Thank you.