Joint Tax Returns: A Spouse’s Error Can Lead to Costly Tax Problems

As an upstanding citizen in the city of Tulsa, you likely take great care to ensure that your legal, personal, and business obligations are met. Married couples, however, often have many joint responsibilities. One such shared responsibility is the obligation to file a tax return. Filing jointly instead of filing two separate, individual tax returns typically has many tax advantages for married couples. Tax problems can arise, however, when the spouse who takes the lead in preparing and filing the return makes an error. Unfortunately, spouses can be held jointly liable for these mistakes.

Common Tax Problems On Jointly Filed Returns

Wondering what types of problems can occur on a jointly filed tax return prepared by your spouse? Following are six examples:

  1. Your spouse did not report cash income from your family business.
  2. Your spouse took questionable deductions on the joint return that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) later disputes.
  3. Your spouse did not enlist the assistance of an accountant and instead prepared the tax return himself, resulting in several errors on the return.
  4. Your spouse failed to file the return on time.
  5. Your spouse failed to take advantage of tax credits such as those for child and dependent care, adoption expenses, or certain educational expenses.
  6. Your spouse prepared and filed the tax return without your consent or knowledge.


If you were contacted by the IRS as a result of an alleged problem with a jointly filed tax return, you may still have several options to avoid liability. The IRS will grant relief to the innocent spouse under certain circumstances. It is important to contact an experienced professional who can guide you through this process and help you to understand all of the options available to you. We have helped countless clients just like you. We encourage you to view our client testimonials page today to learn more about our services.

Travis Watkins
Senior Tax Attorney
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