Ex-Spouse and owed Taxes

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Latest post Mon, Mar 22 2010 7:39 AM by Drew. 2 replies.
  • Sat, Mar 20 2010 10:26 AM

    • Adaly07
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Tue, Feb 23 2010
    • FL
    • Posts 7

    Ex-Spouse and owed Taxes

    Does anyone know how  to enforce an ex-spouse in paying back taxes?? This is my Boyfriends situation. Him and his ex wife owe 30k in back taxes from thier jobs for the years 03,05.05 and 06 and he owes for 07. He called the IRS once to find out why she still gets her refunds every year (she now has a regular job where they take taxes out) Her amount she owes them is roughly 18k of that 30k and yet my BF gets letters all the time and they want him to send a payment arrangement but not her. When he asked the IRS how to enforce it they told him he couldnt do anything about it even though her name was clearly on the letters and the bills, I know we should get a lawyer but money is so tight as it is, we just cant afford that step right now,,,,,,especialy if its not going to be beneficial,

    Even though we have talked about marriage its not in the cards until a lot of financial stuff is cleared up,,,,,,BUT in the event we do decide to get married,,,,i own my home free and clear, should we get married will the IRS be able to put a lien on or sieze my home for monies he owes them??


    Thanks for any help,,,,,,this is all new to me

  • Sat, Mar 20 2010 2:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Ex-Spouse and owed Taxes

    Does anyone know how to enforce an ex-spouse in paying back taxes??

    If they filed joint tax returns, they are jointly and severally liable for the taxes owed on those returns. That means that the IRS can come after either one of them for the FULL AMOUNT owed. In short, the IRS will try to collect from whichever one of them is easier, and if it gets some from both or all from just one of them, it doesn't really care. It just wants the money that is owed. If she files refund returns, the IRS should offset those refunds to what they owe. How does your boyfriend know she even has refunds on her returns, let alone what happens to those refunds? The IRS won't tell him, that would violate the privacy rules. And he can't necessarily trust what she tells him.

    In any event, unless there was an order in their divorce decree that allocates how they pay this liability, there isn't much he can do. If there is an order and she's not following it, then he goes back to the court that issued the order to get it enforced. If he didn't get something in the orders, then he can't force her to do anything and he may end up having to pay this all himself. That's one of the risks of filing joint returns that you don't pay and then getting divorced. Obviously, they should have taken care that their taxes were paid every year on time so that they didn't end up in this boat to start with.

    i own my home free and clear, should we get married will the IRS be able to put a lien on or sieze my home for monies he owes them??

    Since you apparently live in Florida, a non-community property state, so long as you kept the house titled solely to you, the IRS could not take it to satisfy the taxes he owed prior to marrying you.

  • Mon, Mar 22 2010 7:39 AM In reply to

    • Drew
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,417

    Re: Ex-Spouse and owed Taxes

    If there was a joint return filed the IRS can lean on just one or on both to pay the full sums due, interest and penality. And if X is easier to squeeze that Y , IRS can squeeze X for the entire amount!

    Unless there is a separate order as to how X and Y divide it, X may have little recourse  to squeeze any share out of Y and even if there is such an order, Y may be able to walk if they assert bankrupcy or impossibility to pay.

    If you live in noncommonity property state I agree the IRS cannot take property solely in your name--but if you chaose to marry him I suggest you take significant pains to keep your property separate and avoind any joint accounts withany balances, and even be careful to sort out not having tax refunds out there for possible interception on joint returns .

    And be careful you don't put a lot of your money into the "new " family while a lot of his money goes to service the old issues.

    That said, unless you have a prenup to the contrary, if this new marriage were to hit the rocks, he might be entitled to a hefty share of the equity increase in the home and any of your investments and at same time his side of asset equation is bare because he spent it to service his debts.   Prenup might be wise!

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