A few minutes ago, I got this note from a divorced woman who is facing a mountain of tax debt generated by her ex – and whose expensive tax attorney couldn’t win a legitimate innocent spouse case:
- Unfortunately when I was married, my husband of 27 years prepared our return and would rush me to sign on April 15. I never reviewed the 20 page return nor did I understand the entries. I am now on a campaign to empower women to take the tax returns prepared by their husbands to a tax professional of their own, if they do not understand it. And I want women to get involved in preparing their returns. I sure wish that I would have.
She’s not alone in that April 15th, “sign here” scenario.
While she is on a campaign to get women to pay attention, I am on a campaign to get BOTH parties in the marriage to pay attention and to take responsibility for your family’s taxes and finances. (This kind of thing happens to both men and women who don’t participate in their marriage’s finances.)
There is absolutely no excuse for abdicating responsbility
during your marriage and for turning off your brain!
As a married couple, you are both responsible for the
family’s finances – and all the taxes.
You’re supposed to be grown-ups. It’s not cute to be a helpless child, replacing Mommy or Daddy with Husband or Wife. In fact, it places a real burden on the responsible spouse.
When you refuse to participate, you deserve what happens.
Get familiar with all the income sources.
Know where all your assets and bank accounts are.
Know where all your policies are.
Know who all the beneficiaries are.
Know where all your maintenance agreements are.
Know ALL the tax, financial, and other professionals
who work on your families finances and insurances.
And if you don’t know – ASK!
And if you don’t understand – ASK!
And if there’s a filing deadline putting pressure on you?
Know how to file an extension – and then ASK!
Find your state’s form – http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/forms.ssi ]
Do not back yourself into a corner or get bullied
into signing a tax return or financial document you
You don’t need to set up an adversarial relationship
with your spouse. You need an informed partnership.
Your spouse will not wander.
Your finances will be stronger.
The relationship will last longer.
… Please pass this page on to every couple you know – it’s important!
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Question to TaxMama :: About Divorces and Innocent Spouses