Friday, May 1, 2009

Why Do I Owe Taxes To The IRS?

At times I have had to be the bearer of bad news. I have had situations where a spouse will call and tell me they have received notification from the IRS stating they owe a large sum of money and they ask the question, “Why do I owe taxes to the IRS?” The question this because they are being charged with a tax liability for years they didn’t even work.

Often times this is a situation where one spouse has worked for several years and has not filed income tax returns for several of those years. The other spouse, the one calling me, has not worked at all and has somehow been kept in the dark about their tax filings. What happens usually happens is that something prompts them to file their returns. Once the returns are filed, and here’s the important part, Married Filing Jointly, the total liability is automatically assigned to each spouse equally.

Unfortunately this tax filing sleight of hand occurs just before the unscrupulous files for divorce leaving the other spouse equally liable. Once the returns are filed and the liability is assessed the trap door slams shut and the collection process begins. This is one way a taxpayer may wind up owing taxes and not fully understand why they owe. Taxpayers in this situation can benefit from professional tax resolution.

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