There are times in life when nearly everyone discovers that someone they love is not the person they believed him or her to be. If you have recently uncovered certain truths about your spouse that have left you panicked about your financial future, you are not alone. Unfortunately, many Americans have shared the experience of learning that their spouse has been treating marital assets carelessly, recklessly or even fraudulently.
Money is one of the most common causes of disagreement within marriages. It is therefore perhaps unsurprising that many Americans opt to divorce as a result of financial matters, at least in part. If you are either considering divorce or have filed for divorce and you also do not trust your spouse's relationship with money, it is vitally important that you consider speaking with an experienced tax attorney about your situation.
There are many reasons why it is important to speak with an attorney about your taxes if have discovered that your spouse has a reckless relationship with money. For example, if you continue to file your taxes jointly with your spouse and the Internal Revenue discovers that you have underpaid what you owe as a couple, you may be held liable for that underpayment, even if the reason for the underpayment rests with your spouse. Similarly, you may be held liable for any omissions or errors on your jointly filed tax returns after you divorce.
An experienced tax attorney may be able to help you distance yourself from certain financial missteps that your spouse has made. If the IRS has opted to come after your spouse, an experienced attorney may be able to help insulate you from the damage your spouse has caused. For example, if you have already filed tax returns jointly with your spouse, a tax attorney may help you to formally apply for a type of protection known as Innocent Spouse Relief. This protection may help to insulate you from responsibility if your spouse is found to have made omissions or otherwise made false statements on joint tax returns you both have filed.
Tax liability and consequences for tax-related errors should not be treated lightly. If you no longer trust your spouse's relationship with money, please consider speaking with an experienced tax attorney about your options.