How to File Your Taxes After a Divorce


You could also qualify as an Innocent Spouse under either the Forgery Rule or the Duress Rule. Under the guidelines established by the Forgery rule, you would not be held accountable if you could prove that you had no income and therefore were not required to file a return. It would therefore be assumed that you gave no authorization for your spouse to sign your name to any joint return and you may be able to state that your spouse actually forged your name. However, if you DO have income and DO NOT file separately, the IRS will take it for granted that you intended to file jointly and therefore gave authorization for your spouse to sign for you. With respect to the Duress Rule, you must be able to prove that the pressures exerted upon you by your spouse were irresistible and that you would not have signed the return if these pressures were not exerted.

In the event that your spouse will not sign a joint return for whatever reason, you and your spouse will have to both file separately. If your spouse does not file a separate one or had no income or other earnings, you may file a joint return using your name only. However, this is possible only if it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that you intended to file together. If the spouse who is refusing to sign a joint return does so because they fear the other spouse's return is in some way fraudulent, the other spouse MAY NOT file a joint return without the other's signature.

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