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Taxes, Marriage and Divorce


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									Taxes, Marriage and Divorce
It may appear surprising, but a number of people in the United States unnecessarily pay the IRS much more than they need to and they do this on an annual basis. This can be likened to giving away your hard-earned money while getting very little in return. Fortunately, you can take measures that will help you hold on to more of your money. Like many other aspects in life, sometimes the best protection or defense is a great offense. Moreover, the more informed you are, the better are your chances of keeping your hard-earned money. Although it's different for everyone, many people eventually gain a basic understanding of their taxes and the procedures in filing them on an individual basis. However, when they enter marriage, things change substantially and the learning curve can be steep. Aside from not updating themselves with the different tax benefits, people are misinformed as well; these misconceptions come from their parents who also did not know the real score. Believing that a spouse is solely responsible for half of the total taxes due in the joint income tax return is among the most common myths about taxes and marriage. While this line of thinking has a reasonable bearing, the IRS provides different set of rules for this type of income tax return. When you apply for a joint income tax return, you and your spouse are both bound by several joint legal responsibilities. In other words, you will be burdened with paying the entire tax due if your spouse decides to leave. Another commonly-held misconception is that when you marry someone who already owes money from the IRS, that debt is considered separate property debt and you're not responsible for it. This is partially true, but if you live in one of the nine community property states in the country, then it's absolutely not true. Your assets and incomes become a community property once you get married. This is loosely interpreted to mean that fifty percent of her income is yours, and vice versa. If for some fateful reason the debt is not paid, the IRS has the right to levy half of your paycheck to shoulder the remaining tax bill. In addition, refunds which you could have been entitled to will be forfeited as the IRS will utilize that amount to cover for unpaid taxes. Erroneous beliefs also revolve around taxes and divorce. If a couple decides to get a divorce, they think that total taxes due will be fully handled by one spouse. The fact is, however, divorce decrees are not honored by the IRS In most cases, the IRS will go after the party who is easier to locate and whom they supposed is more financially stable when a certain percentage of the tax due is not paid. The divorce decree, however, may be used as proof in cases when you have sought professional assistance to enforce some courses of action (relating to IRS issues) to an ex-wife or ex-husband.

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