My husband and I are separated but not legally separated. We live in separate houses. We filed our income taxes together this year for 2015. We owe a huge amount of money to State and IRS but he has not given any money towards paying the taxes. We also still have a house together which is for sale and there is a buyer. There will not be much money coming to us after sale of the house. My husband has not been consistent paying his share of bills at the house (our house) either. I do not want to divorce him at this time. I just want him to be accountable for his financial obligations.
Since a joint return was filed you and he are jointly liable for the taxes to the IRS. The IRS can collect the taxes from both of you. In the IRS's eyes you are just as liable for the taxes as he is. If you are in a better financial position or have more readily available assets the IRS will end up collecting the taxes from you. It is not a 50-50 liability. You are both fully liable for the full amount of the tax (which will only be collected once). Unless you have some sort of separation agreement entered by the court stating that you are each responsible for a certain portion of the taxes, it does no appear to me that you have no rights to pursue him. Under the circumstances you might have given some consideration to married filing separately.
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Your in a bit of a tough situation. Without wanting to legally terminate your marriage you don't have much to force him to pay his portion. You could try to file for legal separation which essentially divides assets and liabilities but you are still married. Since you filed a joint return, the IRS will look to both of you to pay the taxes. You could end up paying all of it if he doesn't. Keep receipts, payments, etc so that when you do decide to terminate the marriage you can uses those for equalization calculations.
your best option is to address this issue in the dissolution of marriage if it comes to that. Since you filed married, jointly, you are equally responsible for the tax liability. You may consider filing married, separately for 2016
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