March 2016 Archives

Obtaining "innocent spouse" relief from joint tax liability

Many married taxpayers opt to file jointly because of the many benefits this filing status offers them. However, filing jointly also makes both spouses jointly and severally liable for any tax, interest and penalties. This is true even after the spouses divorce. Unfortunately, problems can arise when a spouse fails to report income or takes improper deductions or credits on the tax return (or fails to file a return at all), as the other spouse remains liable. Fortunately, there are a few ways that persons who were unaware of their spouse's illicit tax activities can relieve themselves of liability.

How a tax lien affects the taxpayer

If the IRS accuses you of failing to pay a tax debt, the agency may try to put a tax lien on your property. A lien can cause serious trouble, because it severely restricts your ability to use or transfer your assets, such as real estate or a small business, as you see fit.

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