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Step-dad owes $3000 in back Income Taxes. Can they put a lien on my Moms house?

Mentor, OH |
Filed under: Tax law

My mother and her husband (Ohio) are still married but don't live together anymre for various reasons. Anyways, she got a letter today that he owes $3000 in unfiled income taxes. It said they are going to put a lien against him. The house is in my Mothers name and it is paid for, was paid for b4 they even got married. However they used to file jointly (she doesn't work). He is now out of work so they can't garnish his wages. Can they put a lien on my Moms house? He owns a car that is paid for, would they put a lien on that first? What should she do?

ETA: I wasn't sure how to post a response so I'm just adding additional info. Well it's not from a year that they filed jointly. Apparently he has just not filed at all in the past couple of years and it said he owes $3000. The letter was addressed to him only.

Attorney Answers 1


If the tax liability relates to a year that your mom filed jointly with her husband, then she is also liable for these taxes. Having said that, it seems odd based on the limited facts that you have provided that the letter was addressed only to him.
If she is held liable, she may be able to avail herself of the "innocent spouse" rules to avoid liability. These are complicated and fact sensitive rules and she will need a tax attorney to help her.

Hope this helps.

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