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What info can the IRS share with your ex?

divorce business valuationsI recently had some friends go through a divorce. I watched as they tried to sort through their assets and work out the logistics of taking care of their two children. Even after divorce, they were still curious about what the other one was up to, who they were hanging out with, and what type of house or car each was buying. They drove themselves crazy trying to piece together information on the ex-spouse, which bothered them as newly divorced individuals. This begs the question, what info. can the IRS share with your ex?

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When a couple gets divorced, they no longer have the relationship like they had when married. Similarly, the IRS can only divulge certain information to spouses who filed a joint tax return and have subsequently divorced. Since a person’s tax return is private information, IRS agents must be careful what information they share with an ex-spouse.

The IRS may disclose the following information verbally upon receipt of a verbal or written request from a spouse who has been assessed on the joint tax return including:

  • Whether IRS has attempted to collect the deficiency from the other spouse
  • The amount collected, if any, and the current collection status (e.g., notice, taxpayer delinquent account (TDA), installment agreement, offer in compromise, suspended)
  • If suspended, the reason for suspension. (e.g., unable to locate, hardship, etc.)

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Information which IRS employees cannot disclose includes:

  • The other spouse’s location or telephone number
  • Any information about the other spouse’s employment, income, or assets
  • The income level at which a currently not collectible account will be reactivated

As you can see it makes sense as to why the IRS has these procedures. The IRS holds a lot of very confidential information and has a duty to uphold the rights of each individual taxpayer. I’ll share this information with my friends if they ever have an issue with the IRS.

If you have any questions or need clarification on the info the IRS can share with your ex, please reach out to your CPA at Henry+Horne.

Michael Willett