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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Unmarried Couple Filing a Joint Tax Return

    My boyfriend and I did our taxes this year with him filing married, filing jointly, with my 2 children, who are legally not his. Though their father has little to no contact and does not surport them, In the year of 2005, My boyfriend surported them, more of the months than their father did. At the time, I did not know that My boyfriend was still married. And going through a divorce, he had been seperated for about 4 months, now its been about 16 months since his seperation, Im really afraid of being in trouble for this. Can you please give me some information? When their father tried to do his taxes it got bounced back at him.
    I just really need some information.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,749

    Default Re: Is this wrong?

    [quote]
    Quote Quoting Lauralexy
    My boyfriend and I did our taxes this year with him filing married, filing jointly, with my 2 children, who are legally not his.quote]
    Are you saying that the two of you filed jointly, married when you obviously were not? It would seem so since you later posted:
    At the time, I did not know that My boyfriend was still married. And going through a divorce, he had been seperated for about 4 months,
    so since you did not know he was married to another, you must have filed as the two of you were married with you obviously knowing this to be not true.

    If this is the case, you willingly filed a false tax return. Not a good thing to do.


    Hang on to everything you have because you commited tax fraud if you did. At the very least, the IRS and the state of domicile is going to want whatever taxes are due them with you filing correctly along with some interest and probably some fines and penalties.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Is this wrong?

    No, the lady doing the taxes said she could perform, a common law marriage. Therefore we would be common law married. Thats why the tax lady filed it, married but filing jointly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,650

    Default Re: Is this wrong?

    Quote Quoting Lauralexy
    No, the lady doing the taxes said she could perform, a common law marriage.
    Perform a common law marriage? Dare I ask, what state is this in? (Not that you can marry somebody who is already married in any state....)

    Quote Quoting Lauralexy
    Thats why the tax lady filed it, married but filing jointly.
    Was it in the NY Times, a couple of months ago, that they ran the long article about dangerous charlatans doing taxes, and convincing people to take deductions to which they had no legal claim? Why am I reminded of that article....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    310

    Lightbulb Re: Is this wrong?

    Does your state recognize common law marriages? Few do. You need to find out. You also need to find out if your boyfriend still being married negates your alleged common law marriage. That is more of a legal question than tax question.

    As far as depedency is concerned, if you are the custodial parent, and your boyfriend otherwise meets the tests for dependency, except for the relationship, you can sign a form allowing the boyfriend to claim your children as his dependents.

    I suggest that you go back to your tax preparer and amend your tax return inlcuding a statement that you were unaware of your boyfriend's correct marital status.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Is this wrong?

    Yes, common law marriage is accepted. In texas.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: Is this wrong?

    I suggest that you amend your return as quickly as possible, for your own protection. It usually takes two years for the IRS to review your return. As far as the state of Texas, I don't know.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,749

    Default Re: Is this wrong?

    Quote Quoting Lauralexy
    Yes, common law marriage is accepted. In texas.
    I don;t believe bigamy is though so if the "hubby" was already married, he could not get married again until the first marriage was disolved.

    Therefore, you could not be legally married. It seems this was a mistake on your part and not an actual attempt to defraud. It will make the concerned parties (IRS, Texas treasury) have a different take on the situation but you need to be proactive on this and correct it now. Since you have discovered the mistake and if you take no action to correct it, it may be construed as an intentional act and not a mistake.

    The results can be very different between the two situations.

    Now as far as the boyfriend is concerned; he is going to have a harder time convincing the IRS as to his lack of knowledge of his current/previous marriage status.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,650

    Default Re: Is this wrong?

    According to the Travis County Courts,
    Quote Quoting Q: What makes a common law marriage?
    A: Three elements must be present to form a common law marriage in Texas.

    First, you must have "agreed to be married."

    Second, you must have "held yourselves out" as husband and wife. You must have represented to others that you were married to each other. As an example of this, you may have introduced you partner socially as "my husband," or you may have filed a joint income tax return.

    Third, you must have lived together in this state as husband and wife.
    Nothing in there about having your tax preparer wave a magic wand and declare you married; but as previously indicated that's a moot point as your boyfriend was already married.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is this wrong?

    Quote Quoting aaron
    According to the Travis County Courts,
    Nothing in there about having your tax preparer wave a magic wand and declare you married; but as previously indicated that's a moot point as your boyfriend was already married.

    'For a marriage to be declared an informal marriage in Texas, a couple has two options.

    1. Sign a declaration of their marriage under oath. The form is available at County Clerk's office.The Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage asks for full names, woman's maiden surname, addresses, dates of birth, places of birth, social security numbers, and relationship information.


    The Declaration states: "I solemnly swear (or affirm) that we, the undersigned, are married to each other by virtue of the following facts: On or about (Date) we agreed to be married, and after that date we lived together as husband and wife and in this state we represented to others that we were married. Since the date of marriage to the other party I have not been married to any other person. This declaration is true and the information in it which I have given is correct."
    2. Live together as husband and wife in Texas
    Represent to others that they are married.
    Agree with one another that they are married.
    Individuals under the age of 18 may not enter into an informal marriage.'


    Sounds like the tax preparer just keeps copies of the Declaration on hand & files it at the County Clerk's Office for people. She's covering her liability in filing MJ for people.

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