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Will I become liable for my fiancee's prior tax debt after we are married?

Pittsburgh, PA |

In Pennsylvania, will I become liable for tax debt incurred by my fiancee prior to marriage? His IRS payment plan will continue beyond our wedding date. If he fails to make those payments, am I liable for them?

Attorney Answers 3


I do not believe that you can be made liable for his debt to the IRS. Even after you are married, if you did not incur the debt and it was clearly pre marital, the IRS can not hold you responsibile. The caveat to this is if you file a Joint Return, and he owes back taxes, they may take the refund even if it is joint. So file individually until his debt is settled.

The previous information is solely for informational purposes only. If you have further questions, please contact an attorney in your area for more specific answers. Responding to your question in no way creates an attorney/client relationship, and none of the specific guarantees of privacy exist. If you have found this information helpful, kindly check the "helpful" box.

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The good news is that you do not marry into debt, so you will not be liable for these payments. On the other hand, if you are married filing jointly, the IRS may be able to offset your husband's tax claim against any tax refund to which you may be entitled, so that would be a backdoor way for the IRS to get at your money. You should verify this with an accountant or tax lawyer.

I am happy to answer general questions about my practice areas on this website. . However as I'm sure you understand we do not have an attorney/client relationship. Therefore my suggestions do not constitute legal advice. I urge you to contact counsel in your jurisdiction from whom you feel you can obtain trusted information.

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In addition, your joint property can be seized to pay for the taxes. You would have to prove how much of it is yours. Keep accounts separate until this is worked out. You need to consult with a tax accountant to find out whether married filing separately will be better or if you will end up paying more taxes in the long run.

Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.

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