Copy of Ex’s Return

Today TaxMama hears from Mary in Indiana who has these concerns. “I am going through a divorce.

How can I get a copy of my husband’s tax return?
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Also he has not filed since 1989, how far can the IRS go back?”

Dear Mary,

This seems to be ex-husband week. Oh well…

Basically, my friend, you can’t get a copy – not without his involvement. Here are your three options:

1) If he hasn’t filed, you can’t get a copy of it at all. There aren’t any – duuuh!

2) If he has filed some – you’ll either need his signature on a Form 8821 or on Form 4506 with allowing you to receive a copy of his returns, with instructions to mail the copies to your address, or your attorney’s.

3) You can get a judge to issue a court order for IRS to produce the copies of his tax returns.

But, you want much more than just copies of his tax returns. You want copies of his entire ‘Record of Account’ – that combines both copies of his tax returns and a history of his tax debt and payments.,,id=105370,00.html . Be sure to specify all tax years.

And how far may IRS go back? Not far. Only until 1989. There’s no statute of limitations for tax returns that haven’t been filed.
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How is IRS apt to go back? It all depends on the Revenue Officer (collections agent) who snags him – and how much blood he wants to draw – and, of course, how much money IRS feels that they would ever be able to collect.

Good luck! You will need it!

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

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