Forged Signature

Today TaxMama hears from Evelyn in San Jose, CA who has this tale of woe, “My ex-husband filed a joint taxes for us for 2004. We were separated and lived in different states at the time he filedr. Since we were together the majority of 2004 and he had a copy of my payroll stubs he filed the joint tax return, forged my signature, and didn’t give me any of the refund.

I have tried to compromise and negotiate with him – and he won’t budge. I have even spoken to his First Sgt. (he’s Air Force) and the Sgt said I must speak talk to my atty.

I filed for Innocent Spouse Relief and I reported him for tax fraud because I didn’t sign the taxes and I never got a chance to review them.

What will the outcome be of this? What kind of penalty will my ex-husband get or what are his consequences?”

Dear Evelyn,

You’re clearly losing sleep over this. And I can’t blame you. What a total jerk!

And I’ll admit that I am not surprised that his First Sgt. did not order him to split the money with you. They have a lot of power, but I don’t think they have this much power. Although, aren’t soldiers required to meet a certain standard of conduct? I don’t know the avenues open to you in the military – but there just might be ways to cause him a lot of trouble within the Service. But, it won’t get you your money.

So, here’s what you need to do – if you haven’t already done it.

File your own tax return for 2004, as married, filing separately – if you weren’t divorced yet at the end of 2004. Or as single, if your divorce was final. (Since you were living with him most of year, you won’t be able to file as head of household, even if you had children.)

Attach a cover letter that spells out the fact that this is your FIRST tax return for 2004. Explain that your ex-husband filed a joint tax return for 2004 and forged your signature on it – and received the refund
fraudulently.

Let IRS take it from there.

The Innocent Spouse filing will do you no good. That’s related to joint returns where IRS took the refund to pay a tax debt or other debt that IRS is authorized to collect. IRS didn’t keep your refund. Your ex-husband did.

If, after you file your own tax return for 2004, IRS still won’t give you your refund, you can always call the Taxpayers Advocate’s office for help. 1-877-777-4778. They will help you sort this out.

And never mind what IRS does to him. It’s time to move on with your own life and stop obsessing about getting even with him. You’ll be happier.

And remember, you’ll find answers to questions about forged tax returns and all kinds of tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com

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