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Ask Lane Your Own Question
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 12224
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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I filed tax returns under married filing separate from 2007-2013.

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I filed tax returns under 'married filing separate' from 2007-2013. In 2007 my husband prepared a joint return which was completely fraudulent and I refused to sign it. For the subsequent years he refused to provide any income documents to me to allow me to do a married filing jointly return. We have filed for divorce this year and he owes state/federal taxes of about $30000. He is trying to stick me with this tax liability. Any suggestions? The IRS is garnishing his check and will be for several years to pay this off. Thanks

NPVAdvisor :

Hi, you've probably done what you need to do already, by sticking with the married filing separately can you tell me a little more about what he's trying to do?

NPVAdvisor :

His divorce attorney is asking for this? Is that it?

NPVAdvisor :

Enrolled agent, XXXXX XXXXX, says this: "I have seen separate tax returns come out about the same as a joint return. When that happens, I recommend filing separately, since that will preserve the separate responsibilities for payment of tax and audit risk. However, in most cases filing jointly will usually produce a noticeably lower tax impact, but filing jointly also comes with joint responsibility for the accuracy of the return and the payment of taxes."

Customer: He did not file any returns for 2007-2012 ( he did do a married filing separately return for this year). My husband is insisting that this tax debt ( the roughly $30K) should be shared debt for property division. I am not certain if his lawyer is encouraging this or not.
NPVAdvisor :

OK, as far as the IRS is concerned you've paid what you owe... and he really doesn't have a leg to stand on, if hte debt is fo HIS income only

NPVAdvisor :

Was there a lot of disparity income? (you make more he make more?)


I believe I do make more. I have not seen his W2's for several years and we have always had separate bank accounts so I can't say for sure that I know what his income is

NPVAdvisor :

These things can get out of hand, if he has a killer attorney and you don't ... BUT If you haven't been supporting him in any way, even if you make more he really does not have a case..... and you should (probably stating the obvious here) drive home the point that you've carried your tax responsibility (which already has taken more money out of your pocket)


That is what I think too. He and his lawyer ( as well as mine) do have copies of my tax returns for those years which proves that I have paid what I owed. It just makes me a little anxious thinking about it.


Thank you

NPVAdvisor :

I think you will be fine... THIS situation only makes your case stronger

Lane and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

Thanks for the feedback Linda.

Again, I think you'll be fine.

He really has no case for asking for these things if you've not been providing them already.

Let me know if you have any further questions