I always suspected that my husband was cheating on our taxes, and now that we’re divorced, I’ve been hit with a huge back tax bill. What can I do?

You may be in a tough situation. The IRS does provide recourse to taxpayers who have been victimized by their spouses; by filing an “Innocent Spouse” claim, you can argue that your tax bill or penalty is entirely the fault of your spouse, who incorrectly (or fraudulently) filled out your joint tax return.

The trouble is, the “Innocent Spouse” defense works best if you were genuinely unaware of your husband’s malfeasance; an IRS revenue officer is unlikely to be impressed by a statement like, “I always suspected my ex was cheating on my taxes, but I never knew it was this bad.” If you knew that your husband had been cutting corners for years before you were divorced—taking improper deductions, understating his income, etc.—that would also mean that you benefited from his conduct, since you presumably paid less taxes than you would have if your joint return had been prepared honestly.

This situation, in which you “kinda, sorta” knew that your husband was cheating on his taxes but didn’t have actual proof, requires the advice of an experienced tax attorney who can present your conduct to the government in the best possible light. If you have been hit with a whopping tax bill because of a tax fraud perpetrated by your spouse, call the law firm of Travis. W. Watkins, PC today for a free consultation!