Donít Marry an IRS Problem
Many clients asking for help never thought they would have an IRS Problem. Then they married someone who, known or unknown to them, had problems with the IRS. Sometimes, even the spouse with the problem didnít even know that a problem existed. These issues create a terrible strain on the people involved. What I hope to accomplish here is to give you some tips on how to avoid these problems.
If you live in one of the community property states (AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI) you are at highest risk. The IRS considers most income as community (shared) property in those states.
This means half your paycheck belongs to your spouse and can be seized for a problem you had nothing to do with!
Secret 1----A prenuptial agreement is recognized by IRS Collections. Prior to marriage, have an attorney draw up a prenuptial agreement keeping your property separate. It is not expensive and could save you heartache and thousands of dollars. It isnít a bad idea for other reasons as well. To see a sample Pre-Nuptial Agreement click here
Secret 2----Check with your county clerk for tax liens filed against either of you.
Secret 3----Have each call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 with the other listening in to determine if any tax returns have not been filed, and if the IRS shows any unpaid tax assessments.
Secret 4----Each should get their own credit reports from all three credit bureaus and check for tax liens and unpaid judgments.
Secret 5----Review the otherís last three years of tax returns to see if an audit is likely. Look for unreasonable business expenses and other adjustments and deductions. Is all business income reported as income? Donít assume anything. Better to know the truth before you are married.
Secret 6----If one of the parties will not share this information, embarrassing as it might be, you are asking for big time trouble. There will be more secrets after marriage, not fewer.
If you discover unfiled returns, unpaid assessments, or questionable tax returns:
DO NOT GET MARRIED YET.
IT WILL BE FAR CHEAPER FOR BOTH OF YOU TO END THE PROBLEM PRIOR TO MARRIAGE. IRS COLLECTIONS HAS TO CONSIDER TOTAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME IN MAKING A DEAL. KEEP THE INCOME LOWER BY STAYING SINGLE. SOLVE THE PROBLEM, THEN GET MARRIED AND ENJOY LIFE.
GET PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IMMEDIATELY. IF YOUR INTENDED WILL NOT ACT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM, DO NOT MARRY THAT PERSON.
If you get married and your new spouse has an IRS problem, some of the things that may happen are:
- An IRS lien will probably find its way onto your credit report.
- You will have difficulty obtaining credit or borrowing money even in your own name.
- The IRS may seize or try to seize your property, even property you owned before marriage.
- Your marriage will be in turmoil over the issues.
- You may end up having to pay for tax problems from an earlier marriage of your spouse, known or unknown.
I like seeing people happy as much as anyone else. The heartbreak these problems can bring cannot be overestimated. It is really difficult to get over and make the marriage successful during and after these problems. Many fine people have issues with the IRS. Just donít take on a problem you had nothing to do with.