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Does a husband have a legal right to see his wife's income tax files for prior years since they have been married.

Massapequa Park, NY |

She had filed individually and kept them private. This kind of mail does not come to the house.

Attorney Answers 3


In a divorce proceeding you will be entitled to the other party's financial information. During the marriage, you do not have a right to see these filings if you are married filing separately. I think it really depends on the reason why you want to see them. You may have a separate legal right that will entitle you to discovery of this kind of information, but there isn't a particularly common situation that is coming to mind when this would be required.

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Unusual request. If it could have an impact on taxes owed and the need to distinguish between taxes owed pre and post date of marriage. There is some latitude in a divorce for discovery. But you will need to raise a good faith basis to show a need for premarital information. Normally, y get three years before divorce commenced, providing married at least three years. Possible to get taxes from date of marriage.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

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Unfortunately, the answer to your question is very fact intensive and the IRS has recently become much more cautious in releasing spouses information without the actual consent of the spouse. You can call the IRS and attempt to get the information If there is a divorce proceeding or other form of court proceeding, you can use the legal discovery process to get the information.

Good luck.

Evan A. Nielsen

1255 W. Colton Ave., #506 | Redlands, CA 92374
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Evan A. Nielsen is licensed to practice law in California. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.

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