My boyfriend owes back taxes for more than he/we can pay. I want to get married, would I become liable for his debt?

Asked over 5 years ago - Columbus, OH

He's been honest about his debt since we got together 2 1/2 years ago. We all make mistakes and I am happy to work with him to get him out of debt. On the other side, I have a 4 yr old I must put before myself and I want to know that should anything happen in marriage (like he dies before the debt is paid, etc) that I would not be responsible for his debt so that I am financially okay to provide for my child. We live in Ohio, which is not a community property state, so I know I don't have that to deal with. We currently live together, but have no accounts, or own anything together. I do believe we can marry and just keep our money separate and file returns married/filing separately. He is afraid of marrying me cause he thinks the IRS will come after me for his debt, but I disagree and need some sound advise.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Robert Scott Williams


    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . The risk is that you comingle your assets after marriage, and the IRS seizes the assets to satisfy the back tax obligation. If you keep your financial affairs separate, including filing separate tax returns, you should be able to protect yourself. Your boyfriend should address the debt by either agreeing to a deferred payment arrangement with the IRS for the debt, or requesting an offer in compromise. If he can reach an agreement about the debt with the IRS, there should not be any collection actions for you to worry about. I hope this helps.

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