LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.

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LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.

(212) 370-1660

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(212) 370-1660

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Question #318

I have a question in regards to back taxes owed by my ex-spouse. At the time we were married, he owned a small business in which he was the sole owner. We officially separated in 2011. Our divorce was final October 2013, but the judge signed the final decree in July 2014. During the time he had this business, and through our marriage, my role in the company was just to keep track of the projects he was working on (mainly construction on hotels). After 2011 he made it difficult for me to gain access to file any tax returns and even took me off our joint bank account. After pleading with him for years for the information to file taxes, he, to this day, is unwilling to cooperate. I don’t want to run into any problems with IRS, and our final divorce decree does state he is responsible for any back taxes owed. I’m aware IRS doesn’t always accept this, though. Since May 2014, he changed the company name, and we are no longer in contact. I was also awarded 51% of his business when it had the original name and not the new one he recently formed. Can I file for bankruptcy on that business since it was awarded to me 51%, and there is no way of getting that information from him? Or can I file for injured spouse relief? I have not taken any action into actually putting the original business in my name and still stands in his name only. Thank you for taking the time to read and in advance for responding.

The real question is, what happened to the original business, its accounts, and assets? Were the assets of the original business taken over by the new entity? You, as a majority shareholder, have a right to demand to see the books and records of the original company and the tax returns filed on its behalf.
There is much to be determined before a legal plan of action can be suggested.
If you are living in the NYC metro area, call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter in greater detail.

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