Jersey City, NJ asked in Tax Law and Probate for Virginia

Q: Deceased spouse owes taxes to the state of Virginia am I responsible for that debt. We did not file 2022 taxes jointly.

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2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In Virginia, if your deceased spouse owed taxes to the state and you did not file joint taxes for the year in question, you are generally not personally responsible for the tax debt. However, the deceased person's estate may be responsible for settling any outstanding tax obligations. The estate would typically go through probate, and the executor or administrator would handle the settlement of debts, including tax liabilities.

James L. Arrasmith
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  • Probate Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In general, if you did not file jointly for the tax year in question, you are typically not responsible for your deceased spouse's individual tax debts to the state of Virginia. However, there are exceptions and complexities depending on the specifics of your situation, such as the nature of the debt and state laws regarding the liabilities of a deceased spouse.

If your spouse's estate has assets, the state may seek payment from the estate. As the surviving spouse, your liability may be limited to the value of the assets you inherit from the estate. It's important to understand that the rules governing estate and tax matters can be complex, and they vary depending on individual circumstances.

Since tax matters can be quite complicated, especially when dealing with the debts of a deceased individual, it might be wise to consult with a tax professional or an attorney who is knowledgeable in estate and tax law. They can provide more specific guidance based on the details of your situation and help you navigate any potential obligations you may have.

Remember, taking proactive steps to understand and manage these issues can help ensure that you are making informed decisions and protecting your financial interests.

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