The Implications Of Marriage And Divorce On Taxes

Word is circulating that a large percentage of people in the United States actually pay more taxes than they are supposed to. For many, doing so is tantamount to giving away their hard-earned money. Fortunately, there are steps to take to avoid this situation. More so, having an offensive plan is better than fighting fires as they arise. The more money you will save and the better advantage you will have if you’re more informed about your benefits as a tax payer.

Though it’s different for everyone, many people eventually gain a basic understanding of their taxes and the procedures in filing them on an individual basis. However, when they get married, things change substantially and the learning curve can be steep. Aside from not updating themselves with the different tax benefits, people are misinformed as well; these misconceptions come from their parents who also didn’t know better.

Thinking that a spouse is only responsible for half of the total taxes due in the joint income tax return is among the most common misconceptions about taxes and marriage. While this train of thought has a reasonable bearing, the IRS provides different set of rules for this type of income tax return. Filing for a joint income tax return binds both spouses with several joint liabilities. Simply put, you will be burdened with paying the total tax due if your spouse decides to leave.

It is also erroneous to think that if you marry someone who has tax issues prior to the marriage, you will be spared from the burden of paying for it. This is partially correct, but if you live in one of the nine community property states in the country, then it is absolutely not true. Once you get married, all of your assets and incomes become community property. This is loosely interpreted to mean that fifty percent of her income is yours, and vice versa. The IRS can actually put a levy on half of your paycheck if your spouse cannot settle his/her part of the debt. In addition, refunds which you could have been entitled to will be forfeited as the IRS will use that amount to cover for unpaid taxes.

Misconceptions also revolve around taxes and divorce. Others believe that the total tax due shall be the sole responsibility of by the ex-spouse if the couple gets a divorce. Unfortunately, IRS guidelines don’t honor divorce decrees. In most cases, the IRS will go after the party who is easier to locate and whom they supposed is more financially stable when a certain percentage of the tax due is not paid. The divorce decree can only take effect if you have contacted a lawyer who will help you enforce some courses of action against an ex-spouse.

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