My refund from the IRS was applied to taxes I owed with my ex-husband. Can I get my refund back?

Asked 3 months ago - Los Angeles, CA

I was briefly married in 2011 and filed a joint income tax return with my now ex husband, and we owed a large amount, and my ex husband was making payments. Our divorce was done by default as I did not file an answer any of the papers served on me. I filed an individual tax for 2013, and my refund was applied to the taxes we owed in 2011. Can I get my refund from the IRS? I live in California.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Michael L Raff


    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You will not be able to get your refund from the Service if you accumulated a debt that has not been satisfied from filing a married filing joint tax return.

  2. David Thomson Egli

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . As a general rule, you would be liable for the taxes owed on a joint tax return. However, you may qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief based on equitable relief to get back all of part of your refund. I enclosed links to IRS Pub 971 and Topic 205 on innocent spouse relief.

    I would recommend that you meet with a tax practitioner (attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent) experienced in resolving client's problems with the IRS.

    You may also want to consult with a family law attorney about what your rights to get reimbursed from your ex you may have and the procedure for getting seeking reimbursement.

    I am licensed to practice law only in the state of California. The answer provided above is for general... more
  3. Alex Bezu

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You may be able get it only if he accumulated this debt before your marriage. However, your refund may have been different should you filed separately.

    I hope my answer is helpful.

    My answer is just my thought about your question, and not legal advice because you and I do not have an attorney-... more

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