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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hello, my partner has asked me to marry him which is nice but

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Hello, my partner has asked me to marry him which is nice but I believe he has some income tax arrears and I am worried about what the IRS could claim, if this is the case. I have a property in my own name.....could they claim this if I married my partner?
Or if we bought a joint property in the future.... could they claim this?

Are you asking about the UK treatment of this, or the USA treatment?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.



The UK treatment


Thanks for your patience.

His income tax debt is a solely personal debt. The debt can only be enforced by HMRC against him. Therefore the only assets at risk are those that he owns.

Your solely owned assets are not at risk in these circumstances.

However, if you purchase a property together then HMRC could ultimately apply for a charging order against his interest in the property. Your interest would remain ring-fences so that even if they were to obtain an order for sale on the property you would receive the proceeds of sale commensurate with your interest.

Therefore, if you purchase together you should purchase as “tenants in common” (as opposed to “Joint tenants) so that your shares are separate and if your respective shares are not to be 50:50 then also execute a Declaration of Trust confirm each person’s percentage share.

If the marriage is a short one then each parties debts remain their own and are not taken in to account in determining a fair financial settlement pursuant to divorce proceedings. However, if there is debt then I would recommend seeing a family solicitor to execute a Pre-nuptual agreement confirming that each person’s debts are to remain their own.

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Kind regards,

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