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Federal tax lien from joint return - how to resolve?

Matthews, NC |

I have a federal tax lien being reported on my credit reports for an $11000 tax liability from a joint return. Ex has all tax liability in our divorce papers, but IRS doesn't accept court orders to release one from tax liability.

Should I ask to have the debt divided and enter an installment agreement so that I can have the lien removed? Then go after the ex in court for the money later? Any other suggestions for handling this quickly?

Unfortunately, I don't have the money to pay off the entire debt, so I'm trying to find a way to remove the lien from my credit report without paying the entire amount.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Pay off the IRS and request they remove the lien (it does not happen automatically). Then you would essentially sue ex for contempt to extent he breached the divorce decree by not paying the back taxes.

My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained.

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Posted

Since you don't have the funds to payoff the lien, you may want to consider an offer-in-compromise. And seeking innocent spouse relief may also be an option depending on the circumstances. If your ex is liable, don't overlook the approach of pursuing the ex to address the issue.

Good luck.

Evan A. Nielsen is licensed to practice law in California and handles federal tax matters throughout the U.S. 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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Posted

Unfortunately if the IRS can collect from you they are going to keep up collection action against you until the liability is paid in full or you reach a collection alternative. There are several options that may be available to you.

I offer a free consultation if you would like to discuss your different options.

info@cttaxhelp.com Office number: (860) 255-7423 Website: www.cttaxhelp.com. Our reply to your question has not created an attorney-client relationship. It should not be considered legal advice. You should contact an Attorney who can give you legal advice after acquainting themselves with the specifics of your case.

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Posted

As you stated, the IRS does not look to the divorce decree to determine liability. Innocent spouse relief might be the best option for you as suggested. However, this option is only available under particular circumstances. I have found the IRS is very responsive to applications for innocent spouse relief in those situations where taxpayers meet the criteria.

IRS Circular 230 disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

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