Back to the Ex

A few weeks ago, we talked about changing IRS collection policy when it comes to divorced couples who owe a joint tax debt when they end their marriage. You can read the details here.

Since all the questions I am getting this week relate to tax bankruptcy (MSN must have re-released that old article) and you already know as much about the subject as I do…let’s talk about something more important.

At the IRS Tax Forum, I had the privilege of meeting with the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s (TAS) Executive Director of Systemic Advocacy. She generously gave me time to explain the problem -and agreed that the tax collection system needs to equitable as well as effective. So, we are starting to work on fixing the problem.

We can use your help. In order for TAS to be able to tackle this, we have to prove the problem is widespread. That IRS routinely collects 100% (or well over 50%) of the balance due from just one spouse – because the IRS collections officer would have to work harder and invest more time to find and grab the other spouse’s assets.

I am finding MANY people willing to talk to me about innocent spouse solutions. And often, that is a viable solution to tax situations. But what I am looking for are situations where there is no dispute about BOTH spouses owing the tax. You earned the money, lived on the money – and just didn’t pay the taxes – for whatever reason. And you may have tried, but failed to qualify for innocent spouse.

Please forward your stories to me in both cases – if IRS collected just from you – and left your ex alone. OR, if IRS was fair and chased after your ex when you told IRS where his or her assets could be found.

I am not looking to skew the information. If IRS is actually doing their job, I’d like to know that, too. But, that’s not what I’ve found. And it’s time to protect the less wealthy spouse who is often the one stuck with the whole tab. And sadly, the one who is often humiliatingly chased after by IRS for years, losing jobs due to wage garnishments, losing homes or apartments because their rent money has been grabbed from their bank accounts, children suddenly yanked from schools their mother or father can no longer afford – who lose all their friends and often become disoriented and dysfunctional. This is one of the sources of the increase in homeless women and children.

Don’t kid yourself. The problem is bigger than it looks. And I know the problem exists.

We just have to be able to document it and quantify it. If we can, we can fix it.

We’re being provided with help from the highest source. So…that’s my plea to you today.
Please use the two topics in TaxMama’s Tax Parlor to post your responses.

Changing IRS Collections Policy – Not Working
Changing IRS Collections Policy – IS Working


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