Are you a current or ex-spouse who was kept in the dark about your partner's tax bills? Even if you signed your tax returns, you still may have had no idea that taxes weren't being paid. After all, if someone hides all tax bills and notices from the IRS and claims that any tax bills were paid, it could take years for you to realize that you have a big problem. Many times our clients hire us after they found out by seeing a federal tax lien on their credit report or…worse…by having the IRS levy their bank accounts or their wages.
If you file a joint tax return and your spouse owns a business, if an audit of that business occurs it is very likely that you will become just as liable for any tax debt that your spouse's business caused. Of course, this can create enormous strain on even a strong marriage. We know the anger and resentment this delicate situation can cause and work hard to remove the source of distress.
It doesn't do a couple any good to have both of them liable for a tax debt. So sometimes it is amazingly helpful to keep one spouse's credit record "clean," through an innocent spouse claim, while we negotiate the liable spouse's ability to pay. If one spouse is "clean," then marital assets can be better protected from seizure action by the IRS.