I am going through a divorce. We have owed taxes the past two years? To be relieved of responsibility do I need an attorney?

Asked over 1 year ago - Humble, TX

We owe a balance of $4600 due to my spouses 401K. How can I be removed from liability from this tax debt plus not be held responsible for what my spouse may owe this year. I filed for divorce on 9/2012 and due to some unrelated issues the divorce will most likely not be final until May 2013. We have not lived together since 9/2012. Also if I file married but separate can I claim our son and my spouse claim our house? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Steven John Clausen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You are jointly and severally liable for any income tax liability associated with a joint return that you signed unless one of the very limited innoncent spouse exceptions applies, which does not appear to be the case here. To limit liability for 2012, file seperately.

  2. Henry Carlton Rothrock

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You have several different issues here. They may be answered through the divorce court or through the use of a tax professional.
    If you file your returns married filing separately for tax year 2012, you shouldn't have to pay the taxes on his 401k.
    In your divorce decree, you could have him pay the taxes or reimburse you if you pay.
    Regarding the issue of claiming your child as dependent, typically that issue is also spelled out in your divorce decree. Some people alternate which spouse claims the exemptions. Some specify that one spouse takes the exemption. In any event, whoever is taking the exemption, earned income credit, etc, should have the other spouse execute a waiver so that both spouses won't take the same exemptions. This will be a tax nightmare in a few years if you both take the exemption.

  3. Diane L Gruber

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . If you are talking about 2012 tax liabillity, all you have to do is to file as "married filing singly" so his tax & penalties from his pre-mature withdrawal from his 401k will not be your responsibility. Any tax returns you file jointly, the tax owed are joint & severally owed by you and him. Talk to your divorce attorney about the other issues. Good luck.

    Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662.... more

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