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Can my husband force me to file joint taxes when i want to file separate. Going through a divorce.

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tdow3

New member
What is the name of your state? Tennessee

In the process of getting a divorce. So I have 5 kids, we lived together 10 months this year before he moved out. I make 45k a year, he makes around 40k but he pays like NO Taxes, is self employed and writes off everything (a joke). He wants to file joint so we can split the refund/penalty. But i think I'd be better off filing separate and using all the taxes I've paid in and claim 3 of the 5 children. He says I can't do that. He's afraid he's going to get caught and have to pay a bunch in taxes. Any advice?
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
What is the name of your state? Tennessee

In the process of getting a divorce. So I have 5 kids, we lived together 10 months this year before he moved out. I make 45k a year, he makes around 40k but he pays like NO Taxes, is self employed and writes off everything (a joke). He wants to file joint so we can split the refund/penalty. But i think I'd be better off filing separate and using all the taxes I've paid in and claim 3 of the 5 children. He says I can't do that. He's afraid he's going to get caught and have to pay a bunch in taxes. Any advice?
You lived together for 83% of the year. Why shouldn't you file joint?
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
You lived together for 83% of the year. Why shouldn't you file joint?
Because your status at the end of the year is what counts when you make your choice.

But i think I'd be better off filing separate and using all the taxes I've paid in and claim 3 of the 5 children. He says I can't do that
No, he can't force you. Don't take legal advice from your enemy.

No reason that you can't file separately.

The instructions on Page 9 of Publication 504 address dependent children.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf

Keep checking the IRS website for the 2018 publication as there could be some differences.

He's afraid he's going to get caught and have to pay a bunch in taxes
Too bad for him.
 

tdow3

New member
what i read in that is if he has been living apart for 6 months. But he lived here for 10 months and moved out 2 months ago. does that matter.
 

xylene

Senior Member
You should consider talking about this with a tax clinic or a tax pro and not just your stbx.

You need to weigh the costs of seperate fillings vs joint on a dollar basis FOR YOU and not on an emotional one "it's not fair he's a chump with tax planning"
 

tdow3

New member
This OP could file as either joint or separate. Mine was more of a philosophical question ;)
yes we've been living together for 83% of time. However i paid really all of the taxes for the year out of my checks. He wants to get half of of the return which really i don't think is fair. He makes about 10k on side with music and tips and doesn't pay any taxes either.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
yes we've been living together for 83% of time. However i paid really all of the taxes for the year out of my checks. He wants to get half of of the return which really i don't think is fair. He makes about 10k on side with music and tips and doesn't pay any taxes either.
So, you've had the use of the FULL amount of his money too.

To answer your original question: No, he can't force you to file jointly, but as was recommended above, you need to speak to a tax pro about this.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? Tennessee

In the process of getting a divorce. So I have 5 kids, we lived together 10 months this year before he moved out. I make 45k a year, he makes around 40k but he pays like NO Taxes, is self employed and writes off everything (a joke). He wants to file joint so we can split the refund/penalty. But i think I'd be better off filing separate and using all the taxes I've paid in and claim 3 of the 5 children. He says I can't do that. He's afraid he's going to get caught and have to pay a bunch in taxes. Any advice?
No one can force you to file a joint return with your husband. It is entirely your choice. A divorce court judge could order you to file a joint return with your husband or sanction you financially if you do not, but cannot force you to file a joint return if you are willing to be sanctioned. In your case, because your ex is self employed, I would argue against a judge's order on the basis that you do not want to be legally liable for the accuracy of his self employment income and expenses.

So, feel free to file a separate return and claim 3 of the children. Tell him that he will have to file a separate return and claim the other two children. Do so as early as you can so that if he tries to get it before a judge, it will be too late.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
You lived together for 83% of the year. Why shouldn't you file joint?
Because her husband is self employed and apparently plays fast and loose with his expenses, and she has every reason not to want to be responsible for that, now that they are divorcing.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
So, you've had the use of the FULL amount of his money too.

To answer your original question: No, he can't force you to file jointly, but as was recommended above, you need to speak to a tax pro about this.
And he has had the full use of hers, which is more than his. What does that possibly have to do with anything?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Because her husband is self employed and apparently plays fast and loose with his expenses, and she has every reason not to want to be responsible for that, now that they are divorcing.
The question wasn't directed at you ;)
I KNOW there are valid reasons.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
And he has had the full use of hers, which is more than his. What does that possibly have to do with anything?
The point (that you obviously missed) is that the OP can't complain about hubby not paying taxes while also enjoying the use of that extra money.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
The question wasn't directed at you ;)
I KNOW there are valid reasons.
Then why does every response you made in this thread indicate that you felt the OP had no right to refuse to file a joint return with her soon to be ex spouse?

Your first response was that she lived 83% of the year with her soon to be ex spouse so why wouldn't she feel obligated to file a joint return.

Your second response (which was totally irrelevant) was that she had the use of his income.

Your responses were based on your own personal opinion not on actual legalities...and you didn't even qualify your responses that they were based on personal opinion.

Since you specifically state now that you know that there are valid reasons why she shouldn't file with her ex, you have to be admitting that your previous responses were not objective.
 
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