Will Spouse's Tax Problems Affect Me?

Question: My new spouse owes back taxes and has no assets; how will this affect me? I got married this year and have since found out that my spouse has not filed taxes since '01. The IRS has sent him a letter requesting his returns but he will not respond. I own 2 homes in Cass County, Michigan, and he has no assets. I need to know how this can affect me if the IRS decides to come after him.

Answer: I would recommend that you get together with an accountant to make sure your tax returns are filled out properly. Also, do not under any circumstances file a joint tax return with your husband until he is 100% clear with the IRS. Also, do not transfer any property into joint ownership with your husband or have any joint bank accounts until he is 100% clear with the IRS. Keep your financial affairs 100% separate. This is just quick advice without full background. Get the accountant that I recommended and if necessary an attorney to help you. On the good side, generally, you cannot become liable for a spouse's tax debt unless you work in his business and sign checks for him or her, own property jointly, file joint tax returns and commingle your assets through such means as joint bank accounts.

Attorney: Mark Miller

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