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When in Doubt, Don’t Sign that Joint Tax Return!
There are many good reasons why couples should file joint tax returns and this is not one of them.
Before you sign a joint return with your spouse, ask yourself the following question. “Am I concerned that this tax return may be audited?”
“When you file a joint income tax return, the law makes both you and your spouse responsible for the entire tax liability. This is called joint and several liability. Joint and several liability applies not only to the tax liability you show on the return but also to any additional tax liability the IRS determines to be due, even if the additional tax is due to income, deductions, or credits of your spouse or former spouse. You remain jointly and severally liable for taxes, and the IRS can still collect them from you, even if you later divorce and the divorce decree states that your former spouse will be solely responsible for the tax.” Quote from IRS Publication 971.
Do yourself a favor, before you sign a joint return ask yourself if you can afford to pay your spouse’s tax bill if it gets audited. If you can’t, don’t sign until you get some expert advice.
Call us now for a free consultation at (718) 928-9607.
CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: Per regulations governing practice before the Internal Revenue Service, any tax advice contained herein is not intended or written for use, and cannot be used, to avoid tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.