I have no alternative but to sign the tax return prepared by my husband. Is there something I can do to protect myself?

I have absolutely no money and nobody would help me. Lawyers or accountants would need to be paid for their services of course. Still, even if I could afford them I can only provide what my husband would show, that is, if he is hiding something, it would be impossible for anyone to find out, so it would be a waste of time and money. I have a vague idea about the possibility of using a ‘Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief’ in the future if needed. Or, I was wondering if I could file a tax return separately even though I have no job/income. Thank you for your help

Asked on June 7, 2017 under Family Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes--don't sign it. You say you have "no alternative," but unless he is holding a gun to your head (or the equivalent) as he puts a pen in your hand and forces you to sign, you *do* have an alternative: you can legally refuse to sign if you don't trust it. If you do sign, you will be liable for whatever is in it: it is NOT a defense to say that you don't know if it is true or complete, since the law does not accept ignorance of what you choose to sign as a defense. You are legally presumed to understand and agree to what you sign.

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