We just got married in 2012, and my husband owes back taxes. Will the IRS keep my refund to help pay his off?

  • He got incarcerated in Nov. 2012 but the children are biologically mine
Cancel
If you file a joint tax return the IRS will seize any refund to pay back taxes owed by your husband. If your spouse owes the IRS for back taxes, filing separately will protect your tax refund money from being applied to this debt. However your total 2012 tax liability, back taxes not withstanding, would very like be less if you file a joint tax return. In any event, it would be best if your husband made arrangements with the IRS to pay his back taxes in some agreed manner, over time. Here is information from the IRS on paying money that is owed: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Tips-for-Taxpayers-Who-Owe-Money-to-the-IRS

Married taxpayers have a choice when selecting their filing status. They can file as either:

  • Married Filing Jointly (MFJ), meaning both persons income and deductions are combined on one tax return and both are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the return.
  • Married Filing Separately (MFS), where each person files a separate tax return, but are subject to limitations as to the credits and deductions available.

Generally married filing jointly has more advantages, or more to the point, offers lower taxes. However, for more about the benefits of choosing one or the other, see Married Filing Jointly vs. Married Filing Separately.

    Cancel
    Contribute an answer

    People come to TurboTax AnswerXchange for help and answers—we want to let them know that we're here to listen and share our knowledge. We do that with the style and format of our responses. Here are five guidelines:

    1. Keep it conversational. When answering questions, write like you speak. Imagine you're explaining something to a trusted friend, using simple, everyday language. Avoid jargon and technical terms when possible. When no other word will do, explain technical terms in plain English.
    2. Be clear and state the answer right up front. Ask yourself what specific information the person really needs and then provide it. Stick to the topic and avoid unnecessary details. Break information down into a numbered or bulleted list and highlight the most important details in bold.
    3. Be concise. Aim for no more than two short sentences in a paragraph, and try to keep paragraphs to two lines. A wall of text can look intimidating and many won't read it, so break it up. It's okay to link to other resources for more details, but avoid giving answers that contain little more than a link.
    4. Be a good listener. When people post very general questions, take a second to try to understand what they're really looking for. Then, provide a response that guides them to the best possible outcome.
    5. Be encouraging and positive. Look for ways to eliminate uncertainty by anticipating people's concerns. Make it apparent that we really like helping them achieve positive outcomes.
    Cancel