Asked in Tax Law for Missouri

Q: Wife of 1 year of marriage. Husband not paid Federal or State taxes for 3 or more years. I did not know. Am I liable?

My husband owns and operates his own jewelry store in Rolla Mo. Sells consignment jewelry, custom makes own jewelry and sells, repairs jewelry. My husband has not paid Federal or State taxes for over 3 years. I didn’t know until this tax year. Has had business for 37 years. He told me that for the last 37 years he only put that he made 12-15 thousand per year. The business is only in his name. I have found out that he makes between $3,500-$ 5,000 per month on sales and consignment sales. He pockets the sales tax, and takes the money that should go to the consignment customers. He says that he’s just borrowing it for a while. Am I liable for tax evasion like him?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Linda Simmons Campbell
Linda Simmons Campbell
Answered
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Burlington, CT

A: Never file a joint return with your husband and do not participate in his business in any way. You are going to have to be very careful about having any joint assets with your husband as his half will be subject to seizure if/when the IRS or State catches up with him. I think it would be to your benefit to have a conversation with a good tax attorney that can discuss the issues involved with you in more detail and where you will have attorney client privilege.

I would also encourage your husband to hire a tax attorney to help him straighten this out. I cannot speak to Missouri law but in my state I have had clients arrested for failure to pay their state sales tax.

Frank Huerta Jr
Frank Huerta Jr
Answered
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Fresno, CA

A: File married filing separately if you feel that your spouse is engaged in tax fraud. I would also suggest keeping your finances separate as well. You do not want to be a part of your husband's business affairs.

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