Today TaxMama hears from Tom, in the Midwest. He tells us, “I’ve been separated from my wife for several years. For 2006, I had no taxable income due to a disability. My wife filed a joint tax return by forging my signature. She did not have my power of attorney, or even verbal permission. She generated a substantial refund and kept it all without splitting it with me. How can I get my half of the refund?”
Forging a signature on a tax return is totally illegal.
So, you go ahead and file your own married, filing separate return.
When you file separately, since you have no taxable income at all, you will not get a refund. But you will get correspondence from the IRS. At that point inform them that the joint return filed by your wife is fraudulent. Since there is a conflict, IRS will investigate the matter and assess penalties against her for things like negligence [Treas. Reg. 1.6662-3(b).], intentional disregard of the law (IRM 220.127.116.11.2) and whatever other penalties IRS can find.
Is that what you want to happen? If not. Then work this out with her.
What about your share of the refund? Well, you are not entitled to half the refund unless you file a joint tax return with your wife. So, did you want to file jointly with her after all?
Even if you did file jointly, you may need to do a calculation to see how much her refund would have been if she had filed separately, compared to filing jointly. Under normal circumstances, that difference should be shared equally, not the whole refund.
After all, she might have gotten a refund on her own if she had filed separately, though perhaps not as much.
And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of questions, about fraudulent tax returns and other tax information, free. Where? At TaxMama.com[Note: If you were subscribed to the e-mailed TaxQuips, you’d be getting other exciting news and tips. Please click on the subscribe link and join us.]
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