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What do I do if the IRS comes after me for my spouse's actions?

The turning of a new year is a point of significant demarcation for a lot of people in Minneapolis and Wisconsin. Tradition suggests that it's the time for us to turn over new leaves. Those in the practice of family law know it also happens to be the point at which a lot of couples who have been thinking about divorcing decide it's finally time to act.

In the realm of tax law the new year triggers thoughts of filing income tax returns, and this is where tax and family law matters can sometimes intersect. Depending on a couple's routine in this regard, disputes over tax obligations can become something of a sore spot if a divorce is sought.

One person may have been the caretaker of filling out the papers for a joint return that both parties signed. What that means is that if tax disputes arise because of one spouse's filing mistakes or purposeful actions, both parties are presumed liable for the obligation.

If you are an innocent caught up in this kind of action there are possible avenues for seeking relief. To understand all the options it's important to speak with an experienced tax attorney.

For example, the Internal Revenue Code has a provision that clearly states that if the filer of a joint return underreports or underpays on a tax obligation in any given year and the other spouse can prove that he or she didn't know about it, that innocent spouse can't be held responsible.

Forgiveness doesn't come without filing of the necessary forms. And, of course, it should come as no surprise that getting all the necessary documents and properly submitting them can be a complicated process.

With all that can be at stake, it becomes clear that it makes good sense to work with a professional experienced in tax law and accountancy.

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