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Divorce & Tax Debt

Now you're divorced or separated from the person that the World used to revolve around. Worse still, before this union ended you had filed your tax return jointly and a little bundle of debt came from it. Now that you're divorced, and not really speaking to each other how do you know they're paying their due on your joint IRS debt?

The IRS does allow limited information disclosure for separated / divorced couples who no longer live in the same house. You can send the IRS a written request for information disclosure in regards to the tax year from the joint filing. Some information can be disclosed and some can't.

What information can be disclosed about your ex-spouse and their current collection status with the IRS:

  • Has the IRS has attempted actual collection actions against your ex
  • What amount, if any has been collected from your ex.
  • Their current collection status: such as being in an installment agreement, or being under a bank levy.
  • The reason for any suspension in collection activity: such as currently non collectible status.

What you can't know...Information that can not be discloses includes:

  • Any personal information about your ex: such as where they live or their current phone numbers
  • Any information about your ex-spouses other debts, their current job, or any information about their income.

What you really want to know is can you get out of the IRS debt and make your ex pay the whole darn thing.

There is a provision called Innocent Spouse where one spouse can get out of an IRS debt even if the tax return was filed jointly. As with anything else involving the IRS there are requirements that must be met to qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief.

  • You must not have known about the extent of the debt when you signed the joint return.
  • The debt must be primarily your ex's fault.
  • You suffered abuse in the relationship

Under those conditions you can get an IRS debt waived for you and put the full responsibility on your ex.


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