My husband and I have lived together for 7 years and got married 2 years ago. I have a child, but we do not have (and are not going to have) any children together. Due to him owing back child support from a previous marriage we file separately. Prior to getting married, my tax return was approximately $5,000 and his less $1000. Now, I don't qualify for earned income credit and I only get back approximately $1000 and his is the same. Although it turns my stomach to ask, Would it be beneficial for us to get divorced ? Can we remain living together after getting divorced and go back to filing they way we used to without getting into trouble with the IRS? If so, do we need to do it before July 1st?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Advice: don't consider a divorce merely because of tax considerations. Clients in
the same circumstances described in your inquiry have resolved the tax-filing issue by
including an IRS Form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation Form) which enables you to
file jointly and allocate the income, deductions, withholdings, etc. from each of you.
Filing the form enables one spouse to not be adversely affected by the status of
the other spouse who because of a past tax liability is penalized by the IRS which
includes keeping any refund even if it belongs to the other spouse. Research it
or advise your tax preparer. Test the benefits of filing as two single persons instead
of filing separately as married persons. Usually, there is little benefit unless there
are special circumstances.