Are you starting a new chapter of your life by getting married? If so, you undoubtedly want to make a fresh start and focus on the future rather than the past. And if you have old tax debts, this is a great time to resolve these so you and your new partner can move forward in confidence. Why does it matter if you (or your spouse) bring old tax debt into the marriage? Here are a few important reasons.
1. It Can Affect Your Partner's Taxes
Technically, the tax issues of one taxpayer don't directly involve their new spouse's money and taxes. However, in reality, things aren't always that easy. If you decide to file jointly in the future, refunds from a joint return could be used to pay on partner's old debts. While your spouse can dispute the seizure of their portion of refunds, this process is complicated and may take months every year to fix.
2. You Could Have Assets Seized
Along with keeping refunds, the IRS has powers of collection it may use to pay old tax debts. This puts your marital and household assets at risk. Levies for payment of old taxes can cause the seizure of a primary or secondary home, vehicles, business assets, and bank accounts. If your new family relies on any of these assets or if you share some with your new spouse, the family finances could be irreparably damaged.
3. Bankruptcy Is Easier When Single
If you end up resolving tax debts through means such as bankruptcy, it's usually wise to do this before joining in marriage with a new partner. Calculations for repayment plans will be easier and will rely solely on your own resources. You likely have fewer shared assets and debts that will be affected. And you can plan as a couple for a future in which you may not have access to your own credit for years.
Where to Start
If you want to clear up those old tax issues before your nuptials, where should you start? While many people try to tackle this problem on their own, your best resource is a tax service that specializes in the resolution of tax debts. They will work with you to find the best option available to you and learn how to implement it with the least disruption to your life. Then, you can focus on starting your new life together without worry about the IRS.
For more information about tax resolution, reach out to a local professional.