Paying taxes ranks right up there with planning a funeral. The subject
of income taxes is a thorn in the sides of most Americans every April,
and sometimes seems to see end. The hope is that once the dust settles
a refund will be forthcoming, but that is not always the case. This is
especially true when your spouse is responsible for preparation of your
income taxes, and odes so in a way that is inaccurate or dishonest. If
you are in the middle of a divorce, one of the issues you will want to
shore up is who is responsible for taxes, and when. You will certainly
want to have this important issue determined if your spouse has taken
steps to trick the IRS or report an income that is less than what was earned.
Facing tax issues during divorce only adds to the complexity of your case.
But you can resolve these issues in your favor and with little fanfare
if the right approach is taken. In the instance of an income tax return
that underestimates your income, you do have options. When your spouse
is solely responsible for filing the return and has reported things in
an inaccurate way you can seek to have the liability for the error placed
squarely on the shoulders of your soon to be ex.
IRS Publication 971 provides a remedy for this situation if the tax return with too little
income reported is a joint return. Your return must also underestimate
the joint income as a result of reporting income inaccurately, or by taking
deductions to which you are not entitled. When this happens at the hands
of your spouse, you can seek to escape punishment by the IRS.
A word of caution though, you must also be able to prove you did not know
your spouse filed a tax return with inaccurate information. A common factor
used to establish your stats as an "innocent spouse" is the
existence of separate checking accounts. Even in that instance, time is
of the essence. You only have a certain amount of time to make an innocent
spouse claim. If you miss the deadline, you are not allowed to make a
claim later. The relevant time frame is 2 years from the date the taxes
are due. There are exceptions to this rule, and a well thought out legal
analysis will reveal not only if you qualify as an innocent spouse, but
will also determine if you are in time to make the claim. Call our office
to find out if you qualify.
For more information on how tax issues interact with divorce principles,
call an experienced family law attorney for answers to your questions.
We can be reached online at
http://www.divorcelawyers1.com. Call today to schedule an appointment.