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Do's and Don'ts if you've been hiding a serious IRS problem from your spouse

Posted by Brandon Keim | Oct 06, 2021 | 0 Comments

According to a recent survey, money issues are the third leading cause of divorce. So if you are hiding a serious tax problem from your spouse, both your money and your marriage may be in jeopardy. 

Still, you don't have to let your IRS issues sound the death knell for your relationship. Here are some dos and don'ts to help you protect your marriage if you've been hiding a tax problem.

Do Come Clean As Soon As Possible

With the right tax law help, you can secure the best possible outcome for your tax problem. However, that assistance won't rebuild the trust between you and your partner once you've lost it. Instead of dragging things out, or worst, letting your spouse discover the issue from the IRS, come clean as soon as possible.

Don't Come Clean Without Talking To A Lawyer First

Even though honesty must be your top priority, you don't want to do so without talking with an experienced tax attorney about your options first. By doing so, you'll be able to speak with your spouse about your tax problems and present solutions in the same conversation. 

Do Consider Relief Options To Protect Your Spouse

When you file a joint tax return as a married couple, both spouses are on the hook for payment, no matter who is responsible for the bill. However, the IRS offers 3 types of relief from this rule: 

  • Innocent Spouse Relief - The IRS will relieve your spouse's obligation to pay for your tax issue if they can show they didn't know about your issue when they signed the joint return and that it would be unfair to hold them accountable for the money you owe.
  • Separation Of Liability Relief - Under this type of relief, the IRS allocates the tax liability between you and your spouse so that you are responsible for the portion related to your IRS problem. 
  • Equitable Relief - This relief is available if your spouse doesn't qualify for the other options and meets specific requirements.

Don't Approach The IRS Alone

If you are facing a tax issue that could harm your family, you need an experienced tax lawyer by your side to help protect it. If you need help, call Senior Partner, Tax Controversy Attorney, and former IRS attorney Brandon A. Keim at (602) 200-7399 or contact him online to discuss your options.

About the Author

Brandon Keim

A Certified Tax Law Specialist, CPA, partner at Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold LLP, and former Senior IRS Trial Attorney, Brandon Keim holds an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center.

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