My Spouse has not Paid his Taxes for Several Years, Will that Affect my Assets also?

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“My husband owns a business from before we were married. He has not filed his business or personal taxes for at least 4 maybe 5 years. We have been married for 2 years, live in the state of Ohio. I was not aware of this situation until about a year after we were married. The house we live in is in my name only, I bought it before we were married, while living together. I have a bank account with $16,000 in my name only opened just this summer. We also have a joint account that I use for household bills and expenses, and I am custodian on my sons’ account worth about $1000. I own a rental property from before we were married. I have a CD worth $14,000 that I acquired after we were married but it was from my divorce settlement from 3 years prior. My questions are what will be in jeopardy as far as my assets, can there be a lein put on either of my houses, can they take my money? He is in the process of taking care of things to the best of my knowledge, and says that he will use a tax attourney and set up a payment plan, which he should be able to uphold. Isn’t it a federal offense to “evade” taxes? He hasn’t done it maliciously, it’s just a business that doesn’t make money hand over fist and he has a hard time keeping up on bills and has managed to let the taxes go. Mind you I don’t agree with this practice, and I was furious, but here we are, and now I want to know what I’m up against.”

Question: Under IRS Code 6015 your assets could be protected under an innocent spouse, separate liability or equitable relief theory. You would generally have 2 years from the institution of an action against your property to file for relief (i.e. removal of a lien). As long as your husband stays current on his payment plan the IRS is probably not going to come after your assets. If he does not, and they do come after you, at very least assets you acquired not during the marriage (pre-marriage, after separation) should not be available for the IRS to satisfy their tax lien based on your husband’s wrongful acts or omissions.