The IRS Isn't Interested in the Terms of Your Divorce


Financial problems can create tension in an already struggling marriage, so it’s not surprising that many couples filing for divorce in Pasadena find themselves wondering who is responsible for paying any overdue taxes that they may owe.

Although you can negotiate a divorce settlement that assigns a 50/50 joint responsibility for overdue taxes or one that assigns that debt entirely to your former spouse, the reality of the situation is that the IRS is not bound by the terms of your divorce settlement. The IRS does not care who pays your overdue taxes, as long as one of you do. They will continue to attempt to collect from both you and your former spouse until the debt has been repaid.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of owing back taxes that you can’t pay, you have a few options to consider. You can arrange for a payment plan in which you make smaller monthly payments until the debt is repaid. Or, if you have the funds necessary to pay a larger portion of the bill, you can hire a tax attorney or a CPA who is an enrolled agent to help you negotiate a possible compromise. You will be able to settle the debt for less than what is owed, but you’ll need to be prepared to write a check for the full amount once the offer has been accepted.

Once you’ve settled the tax bill yourself, you may choose to go back to court to have your former spouse held responsible for the originally agreed upon portion of the past-due tax bill. If your ex is found to have the means to pay, he or she will be held in contempt of court for failing to abide by the terms of your divorce settlement.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need oflegal representation during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena divorce attorneys are well equipped to handle a wide range of concerns regarding the distribution of marital assets and debts.