If my husband and I owe taxes and I filed for innocent spousal relief now that we are separated, is this considered marital debt?

Our taxes were based on a business that he owns and operates. I never earned an income yet filed jointly during those years. Since our separation I have filed for innocent spousal relief but I need to know is the taxes owed considered marital debt?

Asked on August 27, 2011 North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The innocent spouse relief that you speak of affords a spouse some protections when the other spouse has mis-stated their income on a joint tax return.  Like assets are classified separate and marital in a divorce, so are debts so classified. Generally if you filed and signed a joint tax return you are both responsible for the debt owed. If you are afforded innocent spouse relief some of the debt may be just his alone.  But what you really need to do is to make sure that this issue is addressed fully in your divorce agreement. You need to spell out exactly what will happen should there be a tax audit and additional taxes owed.  Get yourself a really good attorney.  Good luck to you.


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