Up until about 20 years ago—especially in the state of Oklahoma—it would have been virtually inconceivable for a husband to be completely in the dark about any income-tax malfeasance committed by his wife.

That's because, a generation ago, men usually were the main breadwinners of the family, and husbands would have been responsible for reporting sources of income and taking the appropriate deductions (even if their wives were the ones who patiently filled out the returns).

Today, all of that has changed. It is very possible for a husband to be unaware his wife's financial shenanigans, and he may well be able to file an “innocent spouse” claim if the IRS comes after the couple for back taxes.

If a husband can prove that he and his wife were in the act of separating or divorcing, or that she cheated on their joint tax return without his knowledge or consent, then he may be spared from paying the government.

(Of course, it would help if the husband looked over the joint tax return prepared by his wife before signing it, but it's not unheard of for one spouse to forge the signature of another, especially if she's doing something of which her husband would not approve.)

If you have given your wife complete control over your financial affairs, and the IRS is pursuing you for back taxes after a separation or divorce, you may be eligible to file an innocent spouse claim, after which the government will concentrate its collection efforts on the responsible party.

Questions about your taxes? Call the Oklahoma tax experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) for a free consultation today!

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