If my husband has not filed his taxes in the 5 years we’ve been married, how do I protect myself in a divorce from his tax liability?

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If my husband has not filed his taxes in the 5 years we’ve been married, how do I protect myself in a divorce from his tax liability?

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

Brad Micklin / The Micklin Law Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are several ways to insulate yourself from your husband's income tax liability in a divorce. First, you should file separate income tax returns for those years so that the IRS will not seek to impose liability upon you. Additionally, you can seek either at trial or through a property settlement agreement for your husband to accept the liability for the tax and to indemnify and hold you harmless from any and all liability.

However, you must remember that the Internal Revenue Service is not bound by any judicial decision or agreement that you reach with your husband. The Internal Revenue Service has its own procedures by which you can seek to insulate yourself from his liability. One is to file for "innocent spouse" relief, which is a petition to indicate that you are not and should not be responsible for the liability and income tax. This is a process you can file with the Internal Revenue Service. Additionally, you can file for what is called "equitable relief" from the Internal Revenue Service which is similar to  innocent spouse relief but is a broader relief  the Internal Revenue Service will provide if you do not qualify for "innocent spouse" relief.

 


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