In the vast majority of cases of jointly filed tax returns, both marital partners are on board with the information contained in the return and the fact that it is being filed. In some cases, however, one spouse opts to file a joint return without first obtaining the consent of the marital partner. You may have no idea that the return was filed until you are contacted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about a tax problem. You may also discover during a divorce proceeding that your spouse has filed the return. Regardless of how you come to learn of the return's filing, the spouse who filed it may face steep consequences.
Consequences for Filing a Non-Consensual Joint Tax Return
To learn more about what might happen to the spouse who filed a joint return without the consent of a spouse, it is first important to understand how the IRS and the court view non-consensual returns. Following is an overview:
- An individual may not file a joint tax return without the consent of the marital partner.
- Filing a joint tax return without the consent of the marital partner is a crime.
- Similarly, signing your name on the return without your consent is considered forgery, which is also a crime.
- If a joint return was filed without your consent, the IRS will automatically deem the non-consensual joint tax return to be fraudulent.
- If the IRS decides that your spouse filed the joint return intentionally and without your consent, he may face hefty financial penalties.
- In addition, if the IRS decides that your spouse filed the joint return intentionally and without your consent, your spouse may have to go to jail.
- If the non-consensual return is filed during a divorce proceeding, you may be entitled to relief from the family court in Oklahoma City or other courts that is handling your case.
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