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I am a us citizen living in the U.K. and I had my passport

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Hello, I am a us citizen living in the U.K. and I had my passport renewal application declined as due to
a delinquent us tax liability. My husband and I have always filed “married filling separately” as a way to shield him. This was his idea and one of the many aspects of financial abuse I’ve endured. We are in the divorce process and I would like to know what actions would dismantle the wall which currently separates himself and this tax debt?

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Filing separate IS (by far) the best way to shield yourself from any claim from IRS that you owe this debt personally.


Separate tax debt is enforceable only against the taxpayer filing that separate return. (Whereas joint returns are considered as "joint and several," meaning that any tax debt from THOSE years are owed by both (not 1/2 by each, but 100% by both giving IRS the ability to collect 100% of the tax debt owed from EITHER party)


The only way to change that would be to file amended returns as joint returns (which would then allow ORS to collect from you as well.


This is why you can amend a return to change from married filing separate to married filing joint but not from married filing joint to married filing separate unless you do so prior to the original filing deadline without extensions. So, once you file a joint return you can not change it to a separate return if the filing deadline has already passed.


In terms of passport renewal, this is just one of the criteria. However, there is some leeway in how these actions are deployed. Instead of an automatic denial, your application will be held for 90 days. This gives you time to determine whether the certification as seriously delinquent is incorrect or to make payment arrangements with the IRS.

The IRS certifies seriously delinquent tax debt to the State Department. Seriously delinquent tax debt is an individual's unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt (including interest and penalties) totaling more than $54,000 (adjusted yearly for inflation) for which a:

  • Notice of federal tax lien has been filed and all administrative remedies under the law have lapsed or have been exhausted, or
  • Levy has been issued.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you - I would like to clarify a point on the joint / separate filing status. As we both filed separately, do both parties need to amend previous returns to each reflect filing jointly? Or can one partner submit the amended return and that in turn impacts the other partner?

You may find this helpful:


Innocent Spouse Relief
By requesting innocent spouse relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse did something wrong on your tax return.


Relief by Separation of Liability
Under this type of relief, you allocate (divide) the understatement of tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse).


Equitable Relief
If you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability, you may still be relieved of responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties through equitable relief.

Looks like we posted at the same time ... give me a sec to read...

The good news is that you only need to amend one of the returns; the IRS will disregard the other separately-filed return when they receive your amendment.

... don't know yuor specifics but one consideration is amending the one that's more complicated (that way you don't have to re-enter all that info), but it's up to you to decide which one to amend.

I sincerely ***** ***** answer helps …

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