When you learn that your new spouse owes a large amount of back taxes, your first reaction might be one of panic. If your spouse owes back taxes, there are a few ways that you can avoid paying their debt yourself.
Your spouse can change the number of exemptions claimed on his or her income. By lowering the number, more taxes would be withheld. This eliminates the possibility of getting a refund later but would meet the back taxes and prevent you having to pay your spouse’s debt.
Innocent spouse claim
You can file innocent spouse claim if debt belonged to your spouse and happened before your marriage. You should get the help of a tax lawyer or professional to help you file an innocent spouse claim.
Injured spouse claim
The injured spouse claim is like the innocent spouse claim, with many of the same reasons for filing. In your case again, it is because the debt occurred before your marriage. As with the innocent spouse claim, if you want to file an injured spouse claim, you should seek out a tax lawyer or professional to help you do so.
Filing separate returns
This is often the first thing most couples think of when they try to make sure that one spouse doesn’t have to pay the other’s back taxes. But, when filing separately, there are many things you end up missing out on. You get less back, and can’t get Earned Income Credit or other deductions that filing jointly allows.
It’s not easy to know what to do in this situation. Call my Tax Attorney office to find out how I can help you decide the best option for your situation.