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#770057 - 06/17/15 12:54 AM Tax issue before divorce....filing single
divorcefriend Offline

recently joined

Registered: 06/17/15
Posts: 1
One of my friends and her husband have been married for 14 years and her husband filed the tax returns every year. When he filed he would file them as single and not married but filing separately. My friend recently found out he did this and now fears there may be an IRS fraud charge because she wants a divorce. What can be filed or how can she clear this without major consequences. She understands she may have to pay a lot.

#770058 - 06/17/15 04:45 PM Re: Tax issue before divorce....filing single [Re: divorcefriend]
matilda Offline

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 2142
I have a couple of questions for you.
1) Did she work? If yes, did he include her income on the tax return as well? If she has income and never filed taxes, then she needs to get in contact with a tax professional and start filing them and be ready to pay fines for not filing on time.

2)Did she sign the tax returns? If she did not sign them then I would look into claiming that she was an innocent spouse not knowing what he was doing.

#770059 - 07/22/15 11:53 PM Re: Tax issue before divorce....filing single [Re: matilda]
TJMH Offline


Registered: 07/17/15
Posts: 349
I think Innocent Spouse only kicks in if it's a joint return.

Not sure if there's any real tax advantage to Single vs. Married Filing Separately, so even if he misrepresented himself I'm not sure he'd be in a lot of trouble. If that's the only misrepresentation he probably wound up overpaying his taxes, and the IRS usually doesn't get too upset about that. In any case his separate return is his business and nothing to do with her, in my (non-lawyer, non-accountant) opinion.

The bigger issue for your friend, as Matilda points out, is whether your friend had income of her own which has never been reported to the IRS. However, as I understand it penalties are based on the amount of tax owed, so if she had a job and the employer withheld enough from her pay to cover her tax liability she's probably home free there also. She may even be able to file retroactively and get a refund.

#770060 - 08/02/15 04:43 PM Re: Tax issue before divorce....filing single [Re: TJMH]
Goodmom Offline

Registered: 06/17/07
Posts: 2202
The standard deduction for single is higher than the deduction for married filing separately, which is half of the standard deduction for married filing jointly. It's more likely that he underpaid his taxes. Which could cost both of them a lot of money.

And for any year that the two of them resided together for more than 6 months, he committed fraud by filing as a single person.

Edited by Goodmom (08/02/15 04:45 PM)

#770061 - 10/07/16 05:05 AM Re: Tax issue before divorce....filing single [Re: Goodmom]
veronica123 Offline

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Registered: 10/07/16
Posts: 22
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