Did your ex or soon to be ex file a joint tax return without your knowledge?

by | May 24, 2022

We have gotten call from people going through a divorce regarding their final tax filings or past tax filings. The stay at home spouse often calls after noticing their soon to be ex filed tax returns jointly with them without their knowledge. The soon to be ex does this to get all of the tax benefits from filing jointly. Sometimes they give the tax information to their preparer and they do not notify them of the divorce. I will explain why you should care and what you should do.

First, why you should care. You are jointly and severally liable for all of the taxes, penalties, and interest associated with that tax return. This means if your soon to be ex does not pay the taxes on the return or if the return gets audited and additional taxes are assessed, you can be held liable. While there might be remedies available to you down the road, such as innocent spouse, getting representation for that can be costly when you can take simple steps now.

So, what should you do if a return was filed without your knowledge? While a return was filed for you, that does not make it a valid return. For a return to be valid there must be a proper signature. If you did not sign anything, such as a 1040 or 8879, then that return is not valid. A return was filed using your identity and personal information without your knowledge or permission. This would fall under identity theft. You should immediately follow IRS guidance and state guidance for identity theft. Please find the IRS link here and Minnesota Department of Revenue link here.

If you wish to have your IRS account reviewed in great detail, we can conduct that and see if there are any issues such as an ex using your information for their benefit.

Need Tax Advice

Don’t hesitate to contact your Minnesota Tax Attorneys at Wildes at Law for any tax planning, business, tax preparation and other tax services.