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How to file return when Wife is in Jail

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Money Talk > Taxes

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nemoryer
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How to file return when Wife is in Jail  Reply with quote  

The couple is my friend (of many years).

There is a restraining order against the wife who is in jail so Husband cannot see her and her Public Defender is very uncooperative, rude and wants nothing to do with Husband.

Wife went to jail before Christmas and arraignment is next week. They think she will either be sent to hospital (due to bipolar illness) or jail.

They've always filed JOINT RETURNS in the past. What should he do now?

Thank you.
Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:07 pm
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clydewolf
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Re: How to file return when Wife is in Jail  Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by nemoryer
The couple is my friend (of many years).

There is a restraining order against the wife who is in jail so Husband cannot see her and her Public Defender is very uncooperative, rude and wants nothing to do with Husband.

Wife went to jail before Christmas and arraignment is next week. They think she will either be sent to hospital (due to bipolar illness) or jail.

They've always filed JOINT RETURNS in the past. What should he do now?

Thank you.

There are many reasons why one spouse can not sign the tax return, and the IRS does have work-arounds for those situations. But as you describe this situation,
the sposue is capable of signing, it is just that it is difficult to get the necessary cooperation of their signing the tax return.

Does the friend have a power of attorney that would allow the signing of the tax return? Probably not.

Could the friend obtain such a POA from the local judge?

Is your friend the guardian of the incarcerated spouse? The friend could sign for the incarcerated spouse and print "Guardian" by the signature.

If the spouse is in jail, could they visit the jail to obtain the signature? After all, there are guards right there.

Ask for help from the court that issued the restraining order.
Post Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:25 pm
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Publius
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I know that the IRS has a reputation as an evil institution, but their customer service has actually improved greatly over recent years. This is the sort of thing you can get a direct answer from them on. You can contact them by telephone during the week and get personal help by calling the number below:

Telephone Assistance for Individuals:
Toll-Free, 1-800-829-1040

Or, if the problem can't be addressed on the phone to your satisfaction, you can schedule a free face to face by going to the following site:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-Your-Local-IRS-Office-1
Post Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:37 pm
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clydewolf
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quote:
Originally posted by ccole
quote:
Originally posted by Publius
I know that the IRS has a reputation as an evil institution, but their customer service has actually improved greatly over recent years. This is the sort of thing you can get a direct answer from them on. You can contact them by telephone during the week and get personal help by calling the number below:

Telephone Assistance for Individuals:
Toll-Free, 1-800-829-1040

Or, if the problem can't be addressed on the phone to your satisfaction, you can schedule a free face to face by going to the following site:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-Your-Local-IRS-Office-1


I second this. Contact IRS and check with them what your options are.


Here is the IRS's answer copied this from IRS Pub 17:

"Signing a joint return. For a return to be considered a joint return, both husband and wife generally must sign the return.

Spouse died before signing. If your spouse died before signing the return, the executor or administrator must sign the return for your spouse. If neither you nor anyone else has yet been appointed as executor or administrator, you can sign the return for your spouse and enter “Filing as surviving spouse” in the area where you sign the return.

Spouse away from home. If your spouse is away from home, you should prepare the return, sign it, and send it to your spouse to sign so that it can be filed on time.

Injury or disease prevents signing. If your spouse cannot sign because of disease or injury and tells you to sign, you can sign your spouse's name in the proper space on the return followed by the words “By (your name), Husband (or Wife).” Be sure to also sign in the space provided for your signature. Attach a dated statement, signed by you, to the return. The statement should include the form number of the return you are filing, the tax year, the reason your spouse cannot sign, and that your spouse has agreed to your signing for him or her.

Signing as guardian of spouse. If you are the guardian of your spouse who is mentally incompetent, you can sign the return for your spouse as guardian.

Spouse in combat zone. If your spouse is unable to sign the return because he or she is serving in a combat zone (such as the Persian Gulf Area, Yugoslavia, or Afghanistan), and you do not have a power of attorney or other statement, you can sign for your spouse. Attach a signed statement to your return that explains that your spouse is serving in a combat zone. For more information on special tax rules for persons who are serving in a combat zone, or who are in missing status as a result of serving in a combat zone, see Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide.

Other reasons spouse cannot sign. If your spouse cannot sign the joint return for any other reason, you can sign for your spouse only if you are given a valid power of attorney (a legal document giving you permission to act for your spouse). Attach the power of attorney (or a copy of it) to your tax return. You can use Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative."

Or you can read it here starting on page 21: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf
Post Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:35 am
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