If one spouse owns a business that the other has nothing to do with, should they file a joint return during divorce?

By Sonya K. Zeigler
March 13, 2017
If one spouse owns a business that the other has nothing to do with, should they file a joint return during divorce?

If the spouse that is uninvolved in the businesses feels fairly confident that the financial information that’s being represented in the tax returns is accurate, there is certainly no reason not to file a joint return. Filing jointly is more financially beneficial than filing separate, which is the only other filing status available to married individuals, if they do not want to file a joint return.

However, if the non-owner’s spouse thinks that asset income is being hidden, inappropriate deductions are being taken, or other steps are being employed on the part of the owner spouse that could potentially trigger a tax audit, a liability, or potentially something worse, then it would certainly be wiser to consult with their attorney and also their private accountant to determine if they should, for that particular year, file separately from the other spouse.


Sonya K. Zeigler is a partner at Stolfe Zeigler, a boutique family law firm that obtains favorable outcomes for high-net-worth, complex, and litigious cases.

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March 13, 2017
Categories:  FAQs

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