Author Topic: More problems  (Read 2240 times)

simple money

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More problems
« on: March 12, 2020, 02:15:02 PM »
There are so many worse things to worry about right now than this but you guys have been so helpful in the past. Hopefully those that remember my back story will comment. I have the husband w/ his own business that won't show me the finances there. I had been laying low waiting for taxes, wouldn't you know my husband went to accountant alone and had the taxes done w/o telling me. When I asked if I had to sign them? He says "nope, the accountant just has me do it to make it easy." He even called some friends to confirm it is normal for the wife to not see or sign taxes...he has me second guessing myself again-help...

lutorm

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Re: More problems
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2020, 02:28:09 PM »
Quote
He even called some friends to confirm it is normal for the wife to not see or sign taxes

https://www.cpajournal.com/2018/05/30/what-to-do-when-one-spouse-doesnt-sign-the-return/ indicates that regulations specifically require both taxpayers to sign the return unless (a) one has a power of attorney from the other, in which case that must accompany the return when filed, or (b) one party is physically unable to sign in which case one spouse may sign it on behalf of the other after getting it verbally OKd and the tax return being accompanied by a statement explaining the specific circumstances that caused them to be unable to sign.

I would not say it's normal.

NotJen

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Re: More problems
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2020, 02:28:52 PM »
He even called some friends to confirm it is normal for the wife to not see or sign taxes...he has me second guessing myself again-help...

No, this is not normal, and it sounds like fraud to me.  This is different from a spouse consenting without wanting to know the details.

Just Google "husband filed taxes without my consent" and do some reading.

Malcat

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Re: More problems
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2020, 02:46:44 PM »
I don't understand US taxes, but are you still filing your own taxes??

Why don't you have to sign this year, and why can't you get an explanation???

former player

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Re: More problems
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2020, 02:56:16 PM »
I suggest you send a letter to the accountant, by some method that you can prove sending it and they have to sign receipt, stating that you have not given your husband or the accountant authority to sign the taxes on your behalf.

Once the accountant has that information then submitting taxes on your behalf with just your husband's signature may well be a criminal offence of fraud by the accountant, which should make them think twice.

Presumably the accountant has the full accounts for the business as well as the proposed tax return.  You could add that you wish to see both by return of post.


marty998

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Re: More problems
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2020, 03:03:32 PM »
I suggest you send a letter to the accountant, by some method that you can prove sending it and they have to sign receipt, stating that you have not given your husband or the accountant authority to sign the taxes on your behalf.

Once the accountant has that information then submitting taxes on your behalf with just your husband's signature may well be a criminal offence of fraud by the accountant, which should make them think twice.

Presumably the accountant has the full accounts for the business as well as the proposed tax return.  You could add that you wish to see both by return of post.

Normally I'd agree with you, but this is one where you go direct to the accountants office and talk in person. Say you have enquiries about your tax information and you'd like them to step your through some of the details. Phrase it in a manner of "I'd like to learn about this for my own understanding".

Letters can be fobbed off. Much harder to slam a door in a client's face when you've got an office full of staff watching on.

former player

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Re: More problems
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2020, 03:18:44 PM »
I suggest you send a letter to the accountant, by some method that you can prove sending it and they have to sign receipt, stating that you have not given your husband or the accountant authority to sign the taxes on your behalf.

Once the accountant has that information then submitting taxes on your behalf with just your husband's signature may well be a criminal offence of fraud by the accountant, which should make them think twice.

Presumably the accountant has the full accounts for the business as well as the proposed tax return.  You could add that you wish to see both by return of post.

Normally I'd agree with you, but this is one where you go direct to the accountants office and talk in person. Say you have enquiries about your tax information and you'd like them to step your through some of the details. Phrase it in a manner of "I'd like to learn about this for my own understanding".

Letters can be fobbed off. Much harder to slam a door in a client's face when you've got an office full of staff watching on.
I can see your point.  I suggested a registered letter because 1) it's evidence to send to the Revenue if a satisfactory answer is not forthcoming immediately and 2) OP has been so thoroughly gaslighted that standing up for herself in person against an accountant who is complicit in the fraud might be difficult.

Freedomin5

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Re: More problems
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2020, 03:36:28 PM »
Why not do both? Send a registered letter, and then visit in person?

Also, CPAs should be registered and governed by a governing body. If the CPA is not forthcoming and the OP suspects fraud, she can file a complaint with the governing CPA body, and they are required to investigate.

Laura33

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Re: More problems
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2020, 03:37:38 PM »
I suggest you send a letter to the accountant, by some method that you can prove sending it and they have to sign receipt, stating that you have not given your husband or the accountant authority to sign the taxes on your behalf.

Once the accountant has that information then submitting taxes on your behalf with just your husband's signature may well be a criminal offence of fraud by the accountant, which should make them think twice.

Presumably the accountant has the full accounts for the business as well as the proposed tax return.  You could add that you wish to see both by return of post.

Normally I'd agree with you, but this is one where you go direct to the accountants office and talk in person. Say you have enquiries about your tax information and you'd like them to step your through some of the details. Phrase it in a manner of "I'd like to learn about this for my own understanding".

Letters can be fobbed off. Much harder to slam a door in a client's face when you've got an office full of staff watching on.

It is not either/or.  IMO the certified mail letter is by far the most important step -- not to make the accountant talk, but to have contemporaneous documentation for the IRS that she did not consent to the filing of the joint taxes and that she put the accountant on notice of that.  Trying to get information is also a good idea, but an oral conversation will not protect you with the IRS, which is by far the bigger concern right now.

OP:  you need to hire your own tax attorney or accountant right away.  Have you taken any steps to find one?  If you do not consent to your husband's filing a joint tax return, you have your own independent obligation to file your own tax return by April 15.  If you do not do that, then it will look like you agreed that your husband could sign on your behalf -- and your only defense to that claim would be to argue that you just didn't file at all, which is itself illegal and could subject you to penalties.  I don't know how you prepare your own tax return, though, since your husband has all of the information you'd need to report your own income and any deductions you are entitled to.  That's why you need professional help by someone who has the training and experience to tell you what you should do. 

Let me be very, very clear on this:  you are well beyond the point at which well-meaning amateurs like us here can be of any help.  You need to hire professionals to help you protect your own interests and minimize the chance that you go to jail or have to pay big penalties.  And you need that right now.  Turn off the computer and call a lawyer.

Sibley

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Re: More problems
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2020, 07:25:17 PM »
I agree, you need to call a lawyer. This not normal and not good.

I'm very sorry, but your husband in my view has passed any and all reasonable explanation. Fraud, cheating, hiding money/debt, or just plan being controlling/abusive - he's in the wrong. Look up gaslighting, that's what he's doing.

You are not me. But if I were in your shoes, I would be in the accountant's office, a lawyer's office, and preparing to file for divorce on top of the rest of it.

Malcat

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Re: More problems
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2020, 04:52:50 AM »
I'm sorry, can someone clarify for me how taxes work in the US?

Can a husband file *for* their wife without them signing or knowing? Is this a thing?

rothwem

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Re: More problems
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2020, 05:57:56 AM »



I'm sorry, can someone clarify for me how taxes work in the US?

Can a husband file *for* their wife without them signing or knowing? Is this a thing?

Itís fuzzy. If you file jointly, itís pretty easy to just fill in the e-signature for the wife if you have all of her relevant forms and information. I did that this year because my wife just didnít have much time to sit down with me to do it.

I did say, ďhey babe Iím signing the tax return for you, that ok?Ē And she said ďsureĒ.

preparing to file for divorce on top of the rest of it.

This. The OP doesnít trust her husband, she ought to just get divorced and be done with it. I suspect these series of threads are just a low self esteem person asking strangers for permission to leave her husband.

wellactually

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Re: More problems
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2020, 06:36:17 AM »
My husband e-filed for us and I didnít sign. But we talked through all our options and worked on a lot of it together (spent 20k plus on medical but some was HSA so itemizing was considered).

But OPís husband went to a lawyer and presumably paper filed. Itís super weird to me not to sign that. I would not go ask this attorney any questions because he seems incredibly chummy with the husband and participating in or helping obfuscate whatever is happening.

OP, you need to go talk to a lawyer now. You need to know your options. Iím so sorry.

OtherJen

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Re: More problems
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2020, 06:54:38 AM »
I also e-filed and husband didnít have to sign, but all filing paperwork was out on my desk and I gave him a copy of the returns to look over before I filed.

I think that the OP should be talking to a lawyer with experience in either tax fraud or marital issues.

Fishindude

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Re: More problems
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2020, 07:04:55 AM »
We use a CPA and he electronically files our taxes.   Both my spouse and I had to sign the authorization form allowing him to file electronically.   Just did this yesterday.

What's going on here is likely illegal and the husband must have something to hide.
Taxes are minor compared to the level of deceit and distrust here.   Time to call him on the carpet and get this stuff out in the open, or talk to your lawyer and start getting away from this dude.

ctuser1

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Re: More problems
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2020, 08:13:40 AM »
I'm sorry, can someone clarify for me how taxes work in the US?

Can a husband file *for* their wife without them signing or knowing? Is this a thing?

In practice, yes! I do it every year.

Signatures are not required - just an electronic PIN that IRS has assigned. My wife doesn't know her PIN. I do. So she would, in fact, not be able to easily sign her taxes electronically without asking me even if she wanted.

I'm pretty sure there are alternative means for the taxpayer to get control of their taxes. You can always file paper with traditional signature.


Malcat

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Re: More problems
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2020, 08:36:21 AM »
I'm sorry, can someone clarify for me how taxes work in the US?

Can a husband file *for* their wife without them signing or knowing? Is this a thing?

In practice, yes! I do it every year.

Signatures are not required - just an electronic PIN that IRS has assigned. My wife doesn't know her PIN. I do. So she would, in fact, not be able to easily sign her taxes electronically without asking me even if she wanted.

I'm pretty sure there are alternative means for the taxpayer to get control of their taxes. You can always file paper with traditional signature.

Sorry, I asked my question poorly.
I meant, are spouses legally allowed to file for their spouses without their spouse's knowledge?

I *can* fill out DH's tax software, input his code, and file for him, but he's the one legally responsible for that filing.

AerynLee

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Re: More problems
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2020, 09:22:50 AM »
I'm sorry, can someone clarify for me how taxes work in the US?

Can a husband file *for* their wife without them signing or knowing? Is this a thing?

In practice, yes! I do it every year.

Signatures are not required - just an electronic PIN that IRS has assigned. My wife doesn't know her PIN. I do. So she would, in fact, not be able to easily sign her taxes electronically without asking me even if she wanted.

I'm pretty sure there are alternative means for the taxpayer to get control of their taxes. You can always file paper with traditional signature.

Sorry, I asked my question poorly.
I meant, are spouses legally allowed to file for their spouses without their spouse's knowledge?

I *can* fill out DH's tax software, input his code, and file for him, but he's the one legally responsible for that filing.
In the US spouses usually file a joint return together, so it's one return for both of them and the spouses are jointly responsible. If an accountant files the return they are supposed to get both spouses signatures either on the e-file form or the paper return if it's mailed in, but it's fairly common for one spouse to handle everything so some may just let one spouse do both signatures or the spouse may "take it home" sign both places themselves, and bring it back. It's not legal and Simple Money can hopefully prove that whatever signature they may have on file is not hers

bacchi

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Re: More problems
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2020, 09:36:09 AM »
The IRS will give you your tax transcripts.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript

It won't be this year's return (yet) but it will have the previous 3 years.

Sibley

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Re: More problems
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2020, 10:15:36 AM »
I'm sorry, can someone clarify for me how taxes work in the US?

Can a husband file *for* their wife without them signing or knowing? Is this a thing?

In practice, yes! I do it every year.

Signatures are not required - just an electronic PIN that IRS has assigned. My wife doesn't know her PIN. I do. So she would, in fact, not be able to easily sign her taxes electronically without asking me even if she wanted.

I'm pretty sure there are alternative means for the taxpayer to get control of their taxes. You can always file paper with traditional signature.

Sorry, I asked my question poorly.
I meant, are spouses legally allowed to file for their spouses without their spouse's knowledge?

I *can* fill out DH's tax software, input his code, and file for him, but he's the one legally responsible for that filing.

To add... legally, the spouse is generally on the hook. Fraud, error, whatever. UNLESS they file for innocent spouse relief - which my understanding is not easy to get. In general, you are assumed to have the knowledge. If you commit tax fraud, even if you didn't know it was fraud, generally you're guilty of tax fraud. Most people don't know this. If they did, more people would probably make more of an effort to understand their taxes.

nereo

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Re: More problems
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2020, 10:24:41 AM »
Sorry, I asked my question poorly.
I meant, are spouses legally allowed to file for their spouses without their spouse's knowledge?

I *can* fill out DH's tax software, input his code, and file for him, but he's the one legally responsible for that filing.

Background:  In the US a married couple can file a single joint tax return ("Married, filing Jointly") or each can file their own tax return ("Married, filing separately")

Both are fine, and you can switch from year to year, and there are advantages/disadvantages to both.

HOWEVER: one CANNOT file another person's tax documents without their permission.  In practice, one spouse often fills out all the documents and the other either gives verbal permission to sign ("go ahead dear") or simply signs/esigns when it is all completed.  But you cannot file WITHOUT the other person's permission in the absense of power of attorney or similar.


Sibley

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Re: More problems
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2020, 09:36:41 AM »
Ok. Technical stuff.

Whose name is listed first on the 1040 doesn't matter. You can switch it back and forth every year if you want.

The name on the Sch E for the s-corp - if your name is on it, then that means that you're a shareholder/part owner/otherwise getting income from the s-corp. Which doesn't jive with your previous post, where if I remember correctly you said that you were taken off as an owner.

The sch C - I honestly don't know why there would be both a sch C and sch E for the same business. A legal entity must be reported as one. This could be ok, or there could be something very wrong. We don't have enough information to tell.

So, what to do. My recommendation is that you get some IRL support. You're going to need it. Close friends, family who can keep their mouths shut is good. But really - you need a therapist. Honestly, it sounds like you've been systematically discouraged from paying attention to the money. "You're losing it"?!? That's incredibly unprofessional and inappropriate from an accountant. This sounds like gaslighting and emotional abuse. You need a therapist who can help you work through all this mess

Re any potential divorce - you need to talk to a divorce lawyer, just to get a sense of your options. Make sure to tell them about your fears of your husband hiding money and not supporting you or the kids. Realistically, IF your husband is committing tax fraud and attaching it to you, the judge would likely be pretty pissed about it.

And also think about it. Do you really want to be married to someone who you think would abandon you financially? I suspect you live comfortably, as long as you don't pull back the curtain. What kind of life is that, really?

For you, right now: therapist. Stat.

SunnyDays

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Re: More problems
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2020, 11:54:34 AM »
I thought she meant the husband said "You're losing it," because he was there when she called the accountant.

In any event, definitely get as much support as you can, both personally and professionally, because this isn't going to end well.  It's just a matter of how long it takes to get to the end. 

(So what is it you love about this guy, other than shared history?  I have a hard time believing he treats you well in other respects when he is so dismissive/gaslighting/deceptive in regards to money.  Character tends to be consistent in all aspects of life.)

simple money

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Re: More problems
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2020, 12:43:46 PM »
My husband said I was losing it because I called the accountant, the accountant was very helpful when I called.

Sibley

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Re: More problems
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2020, 07:32:47 PM »
I misunderstood. Accountant gets a pass. Husband gets even more side eye.

Steeze

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Re: More problems
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2020, 07:51:55 PM »
The IRS will give you your tax transcripts.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript

It won't be this year's return (yet) but it will have the previous 3 years.

+1

I just did this because I couldn't find a W2 when filling out a mortgage application. Took 5 minutes and I could see all the income transcripts and copies of all the return transcripts I've filed for the last few years. Definitely worth a look, and its free.