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I married in August of 1998 so therefore I can no longer file head of housefold. My husband who is in the navy did not file taxes for 96 or 97. I just figured his taxes for those two years and find that he owed in 96 but was due a small refund in 97. If we file joint in 98 we are due a refund. Will IRS deduct what he owes for 96 from the 98 refund even though we didn't know each other in 96? If I file married/separate, can the IRS take my refund for 98 and apply it towards the amount he owes from 96 or will my refund be untouched?
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[[ I married in August of 1998 so therefore I can no longer file head of housefold.
My husband who is in the navy did not file taxes for 96 or 97. I just figured his
taxes for those two years and find that he owed in 96 but was due a small refund
in 97. If we file joint in 98 we are due a refund.]]

A good rule of thumb...BEFORE you get married ALWAYS check their teeth and tax returns. Two major potential expenses that you want to get a handle on before you make the commitment.

[[ Will IRS deduct what he owes
for 96 from the 98 refund even though we didn't know each other in 96?]]

Yup...sure will. You can depend on it.

[[ If I file
married/separate, can the IRS take my refund for 98 and apply it towards the
amount he owes from 96 or will my refund be untouched?]]

If you have a refund after applying the married/separate rules, then your refund will generally be untouched. But the rules for married/separate are very severe. You may find that when you file married/separate, your assumed refund will go up in smoke.

Check out my posts on the married/separate issues in the Taxes FAQ area. You should also read/download IRS Publication 501 and 554 for more details.

TMF Taxes
Roy

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