am I responsible for paying off my husbands taxes?

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am I responsible for paying off my husbands taxes?

I’m planning on filing for divorce, my husband left the country and before left he opened an LLC and he’s late with his taxes and will I be responsible to pay off his tax depts since he is gone? I don’t have an income and I have a child to raise.

Asked on June 14, 2009 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You say he "opened an LLC"--do you mean that it's the taxes for the LLC that he was late on? If so, and if you were not a member of the LLC, then if it opted for "corporate" tax treatment you would not be liable. If it was pass through tax treatment, so that the profits or losses from the LLC went through to your husband's personal taxes and the two of you filed jointly, then you probably would be liable.

So, if you're talking about the LLC taxes and it had either corporate tax treatment or pass through treatment but the two of you filed separately, you should be not liable. If it had pass through treatment and you filed jointly, you would likely be liable.

If you're talking about your husband's personal taxes, again the issue is whether you filed jointly (liable) or separately (not liable).

Taxation is a very complex matter. If you are filing for divorce, presumably you have an attorney. Even if he/she isn't a tax expert, maybe he/she can at least get some advice from a tax attorney colleague. Go to your lawyer with ALL the paperwork about the nature of the LLC and how you and your husband have filed in the past and were planning to file this year. If you don't have an attorney (you were doing a "do it yourself" divorce), get one for this purpose--you don't want to fool around with tax liability. This website has a lawyer referral service, or if you can't afford an attorney, call your state bar association and ask for a referral to an attorney or organization who helps those who can't afford a lawyer. Again, to maximize effeciency and minimize cost, make sure you have all the paperwork and information gathered together ahead of time.


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