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Am I responsible for my Husbands back taxes if we file separated ?

Bridgewater, NJ |

I own my business and he owns his . I pay all my taxes in time penny by penny separated income tax . . We acquired a house during ours marriage which I'm the solo owner . I want to split 50 / 50 and he wants undefined , plus taking more many before it to pay his debts , his allegations are that he owns many to IRS and also he has a lot debts based to his business . I live in NJ , and I know that he has to sign to sale the house , but he also has not paying the mortgage in time how we had agreed when we bought it and my credit has been affected by it . I know his wages are a lot more than my and he hides it from me and from the government . What should I do and how to find out how to handle this ? I'm definitely desperate to get out of this mess . Thank you !

Attorney Answers 4


The issue of whether you are responsible for your husband's back taxes depends on the unique facts of your case.

Ultimately, you will need to get advice from a qualified tax professional (an accountant), because lawyers are not tax experts.

However, based on what you have said, you have significant legal issues which require immediate attention. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you meet as quickly as possible with a very experienced New Jersey Divorce and Family Law lawyer. Please click on the link below for more information.

DISCLAIMER The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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Lawyers are not tax experts unless they are tax lawyers!

If you filed all returns as "married, filing separately" then your accounts as separate and you each have your own tax debt. If any of these returns were filed "married, filing jointly" that is a different story, but you do have some possible options for relief in that case. The distribution of assets in divorce is a separate but related issue.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

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So long as you filed your returns separately, you are not responsible for your husband's back taxes. That being said, however, if your husband has any sort of interest in the house - and I cannot tell that just from your description - then the IRS might be able to seize the house and sell it to pay for your husband's back taxes; if that were to happen the house would be sold and you would be entitled to get your share of the sales proceeds, but you would still have lost the house.

I would strongly recommend that you consult with a competent tax professional in your area now to determine the extent to which you might be exposed to the effects of his back taxes.

My answer does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon by anyone for any purpose and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship or an offer to form such a relationship. This disclaimer is intended to be fully compliant with the requirements of Treasury Department Circular 230 and the terms thereof are fully incorporated by reference. If you wish to consult with me please contact me at dana@nytaxcounsel or visit my website at

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