Tax question

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by SteveGon, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Okay, I believe my wife has wrongly filed her taxes. Backstory: I moved in with her in late January/early February of 2009. We were married on March 6th. She told me in mid-October that she was not happy with the marriage and I ended up moving out the last week of October. We have no children together but she has two young sons from an earlier relationship (ages 3 and 5) who lived with us the whole time we were together and who lived with her when we weren't together. She got her W-2 before me and hurriedly filed as single/head of household under her maiden name (apparently she never had it changed with the social security administration). Note that we are NOT divorced OR legally separated. We have simply been living apart since late October. We are planning on getting a dissolution. I paid a good chunk of the bills (mostly rent) while we lived together. Overall I'd say it was about even up as far as how much we both spent on bills – she mainly paid utilities and bought groceries. Because of what she did I have no choice but to file married but separate which is going to cost me $525.00. Meanwhile she got back at least $4000.00. I can tell she doesn't want to give me any money, not even enough to cover my loss (doubt I would have had to pay if we had filed jointly). Yes, she is that shady. She is also quite adept at lying. She has also been blowing money left and right, despite her claims of desperately needing it (she is in the process of moving). Nice gal I married. Anyway, I believe from what I've read, and I've also asked an attorney who specializes in taxes and he agrees, that she filed illegally. Now she's claiming that she's hired an attorney and that he didn't see a problem with how she filed. So who's right? Is there any way she could legally file as head of household even though she is still married? Keep in mind that we've only been separated since late October. We live in Ohio. I would love to be able to report her to the IRS, even though it's not likely anything would come of it. I know I have no real way of getting money out of her (and she'll soon have it spent, new boyfriend - #2 since we split - and all) so it's pretty much looking like I'll have to eat the five hundred plus while she gets to go out and have fun. Sigh.
     
  2. Michelle Schmid

    Michelle Schmid Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm sorry about everything that's going on for you. I'm not a tax expert, and I think she may be wrong about this year's taxes but I have legally filed as Head of Household when I was still married and he had to file married filing separately. My circumstances were different, though. We had two kids, one that was mine from a previous relationship & one we had together. We'd been married for 9 years and we split in a November. If I remember correctly, it's been awhile ago now, because we'd lived together for more than 6 months out of the year we had to file together that first year. It took us awhile to get the divorce finalized (money being the issue--a lack of funds to make the divorce happen, not fighting about assets--we've never done any of that) so the second year, since the kids both lived with me for more than 6 months (all 12 actually), I was able to file head of household. I don't know how it would have worked, or if it would have been different had both kids been mine before we got married.
     
  3. Nathan_F

    Nathan_F Second Unit

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    My advice... don't take anyone's advice here. This is an issue that will affect the divorce and your standing with the IRS. Get an attorney. Hopefully in a firm that has tax attorneys as well as divorce attorneys.
     
  4. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    That's my point - we did live together for more than six months: married March 6th (lived and paid bills together for a month before that) and I moved out the last week of October.

    I have consulted a tax attorney (to the tune of ninety bucks) and he agreed with me that she filed wrong. Now she's saying HER attorney said it was okay. Frankly she may be blowing smoke up my ass, just trying to put off giving me any money (my attorney suggested I try to get a settlement out of her) until she blows through it all. Can't believe she's the same woman I married, so greedy and self-serving...
     
  5. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    Obviously you need a tax attorney. But I don't think you two have to agree on a way to file. In other words, just because she filed as head of household doesn't mean you can't also. One of you will be wrong and liable for penalties; as long as it's not you, you won't need to care.
     
  6. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Well, as I said, I did consult a tax attorney and he said I basically have no choice but to file as married but separate. According to him, neither one of us qualifies to file as head of household but I can't file jointly if she's already filed hoh so I'm pretty much screwed.
    I'll admit something here. I just want some kind of justice. I married her and took on her two kids as if they were my own. Wasn't the perfect husband I'll admit, but I was trying. I was single for a LONG time and the marriage game was a whole new world for me. Things weren't easy financially - she lost all the benefits she had as a single mom - but we were making it. Then she abruptly said she wasn't happy and wanted me to leave. My side of the bed was barely cold before she was messing around with her ex-fiance (I found this out later). That didn't last and she's now on boyfriend number two since we separated three months ago. I can't imagine what this is doing to her kids who were starting to call me dad (her ex-fiance is also "dad"). I've heard that her five year old thought that it was his fault I left.

    Yes she is dysfunctional - I can only assume she's been influenced by her father who is an incredibly sleazy womanizer and gambling addict. I don't know. Frankly I'm all out of sympathy for her. There's simply been too many lies and too much infidelity involved for me to ever really care about her again. I never did anything to her to justify this kind of treatment and I'd be happy if she was forced to fork over a grand or so (again, this is my attorney's suggestion though I wholeheartedly agree) to cover my losses and then some. My only recourse is to refuse to sign the "papers." I hate to be like this but I frankly need the money. I'm currently paying off some credit card debt (my own stupidity) which really crimps my finances (but I've kept up with it so far despite how much it hurts). And my workplace dropped health insurance for its employees so if I get sick I'm screwed. I need to find some kind of coverage but it ain't easy what with my other expenditures. (Meanwhile all her "single mom" benefits have been reinstated - 4 or 5 hundred a month in food stamps, free medical, free daycare plus her ex-fiance pays child support and she has her work income.) Despite her claims of poverty (which is why she says she can't afford to give me any money) she's actually sitting fairly pretty. And according to a mutual friend she's been blowing money left and right lately. Just having a grand old time.

    But yes, I am curious to know if what she did is illegal (and my attorney seems to think so). It would be such sweet justice if she were audited and had to pay back that four grand.
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    The monetary reimbursement due to you if she did file incorrectly would be something that should be handled as part of the divorce settlement. As others have stated, the best advice you can receive here is to get yourself a good attorney.
     
  8. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I would chalk this whole situation up to a learning experience. At the end of the day it is not worth the hassel or attorney's fees to get back a few thousand dollars. Yes it would be nice to have, but you would also have to deal with more of her crap.

    Move on and don't look back. A woman like that who plays the system will always play her partners.
     
  9. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Yeah, that's pretty much the conclusion I've come to. She obviously doesn't want to give me any of the money so my only recourse is to try to get a settlement out of her somehow. But with her being a single mom with two kids and me a single guy back living with his mom, that would just make me look like a money-hungry dick. Looks like I'm out $525 in taxes I now owe plus the $90 I just paid to consult a lawyer and whatever else I'll have to pay one to check over the papers once she gets them.
     
  10. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Having gone through something similar back in the 80s all I can suggest is to get completely clear of this woman as soon as possible. In most states you are legally responsible for any unpaid debts this woman may run up before you are legally divorced. Screw the $615 you're out now and kiss it good bye. Get clear before she runs up a bunch of credit card bills or worse buys a new car.
     
  11. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    you---> . her--------------------------------------------------------------------------> .

    This is your goal. Forget about everything else.
     
  12. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Consider yourself lucky that you didn't file jointly with her; this way she's responsible for her erroneous filing and you're not.

    The IRS is always interested in hearing from tipsters about bad actors who are claiming the wrong status.

    IRS Publication 504, regarding separated and divorced persons may be useful:

    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p504/index.html

    Note there are some circumstances where a married person can be "considered unmarried" and files as Head of Household, but it doesn't sound like they would apply; you'll want to review that section.
     
  13. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    This is the most important advice you've gotten on this thread. Focus on cutting all legal ties, then worry about the tax issues. There's probably not much you can do beyond informing the IRS of her potentially illegal filing, but at least that might make you feel good.

    And I wouldn't worry about looking like a "money-hungry dick." It's not like you're some millionaire going after someone out of spite -- you've basically been ripped off and you're completely justified in not wanting to let it go.

    Sorry to hear about all of this. Good luck!
     
  14. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Right. I've gone through all that and she doesn't qualify based solely on the fact that we were living together almost to the end of October.
     

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