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7 Answers

Audited for filing head of household, while still legally married but living far apart?

Asked by: samserio 1690 views YA Discussion

My ex-husband and I lived apart since July of 2006 and have not lived since. In October I had our son, lived alone and began work late 2007. My ex-husband lived upstate somewhere since 2006 (according to his mother), he could be on the moon far as I concern, he fell off the planet it appears- child support cannot even find him. But his mother did say he filed in another city six hours away.

Anyhow, I filed through H&R block, head of household with dependent (my son) for years 2007 and 2008.

In 2010 I received a litter from the IRS, long story short they are auditing me for filing head of household while still legally married. Even though my spouse and I lived APART since 2006.

Went to the audit, auditor stated in these exact words, “Far as I concern you and your husband still LIVE together!” and thus I was penalized- and paying to this day.

This is where it gets interesting-
When I researched I found out according to the IRS publication 501 for years 2007 and 2008, it clearly states a person is considered “unmarried” if the married couple lived apart for the last 6 months of the tax filing year, paid over half of the household bills, and home is the main residence of qualifying dependent.

My question is, why would the auditor blatantly go against their OWN tax code to have me pay?
I fall under all the qualifications to file head of household according to the IRS own code. I provided all bill receipts, house lease for 2007-2008, ALL of which was in my name, I paid 100% of all the bills.

I contacted the tax advocate, they seem to have sided with the auditor DESPITE the facts and proof provided. Unless I build a time machine and the auditor knocked on my door, I do not know what else to provide as proof. What should I do next?
(sorry for the long read)
Forgot to add, yes I paid my taxes for those years. I did not file exempt at all. Darn crooks want more money apparently, desperate to the point of cherry picking their OWN tax codes!
There is nothing else to tell- I told /everything/ and scratching my head to the point of losing hair (no seriously)!

This has nagged me virtually every day as to WHY the auditor said what she said- considering what publication 501 stated. I knew something was amiss when I tried to contact the local IRS building as to what the h*ll was going on, the auditor called my phone stating, “There is nothing they can do for you! No one there can help you, no one can help you!” She was very unprofessional, often having an attitude.

If they were to investigate every little detail, send in the FBI to investigate, everything would STILL point to me paying ALL my bills with everything in my name. I even told the so called H&R block representative the company had sit with me during the audit, if what I did wasn’t the very definition of HOH, I don’t know WHAT is?! He was just silent and worthless…
This is crazy!

At the time of the audit I did not know anything about publicati
Short explanation of 2007, my brother supported me for the first half since my ex-husband just packed his stuff and moved out. Amazingly I still had most of the receipts of the motel he paid for me until I got on my feet. That and the fact I was on food stamps (shown proof of that as well), even had my caseworker provide a written statement of my living situation early 2007.

And around the summer of 2007 when I landed a good job, (temp to hire) I moved into a house with everything in my name. I had proof of everything the auditor asked for. EVERYTHING.
Also it pays to keep old receipts.

7 Answers

  1. Ariaread on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    You need to find that statement in a recent publication since tax laws change yearly. As far as I know as long as you are still legally married you CANNOT file Head of Household. Suggest you go after
    H & R Block for misfiling your returns and force them to pay the penalties

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  2. Bobbie on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

    The Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals who have a problem with the Internal Revenue Service and whose income is below a certain level. LITCs are independent from the IRS. Most LITCs can provide representation before the IRS or in court on audits, tax collection disputes, and other issues for free or for a small fee. If an individual’s native language is not English, some clinics can provide multilingual information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities.

    Low Income Taxpayer Clinics are not part of the IRS but they receive partial funding from the IRS via the LITC grant program. Examples of LITCs are nonprofit organizations exempt from tax under IRC § 501(a) that represent taxpayers or refer them to qualified representatives, and clinical programs at accredited law, business, or accounting schools in which students represent low income taxpayers who are having a problem with the IRS. Each clinic determines if prospective clients meet the income poverty guidelines and other criteria before it agrees to represent a client.


    Hope that you find the above enclosed information useful. 01/06/2013

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  3. Just an Iowan on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    It seems something is missing here. Based on your story, any IRS agent and I would determine you to be head of household. Also taxpayer Advocate would agree on HoH and do battle for you. Based on what you say, you are definitely head of household. Living apart for “The last 6 months of the year” and providing over half support qualifies for HOH. If you didn’t do that, you’re not HOH. I suggest you go to a CPA or EA, sign a Power of Attorney so they can talk to IRS and find out what’s going on. Don’t expect free service for someone solving your problem or telling you why IRS is right, we have bills to pay and have to eat too. Taxpayer Advocate would be free, but you already tried them. That’s why I think something is amiss here, we’re not being told. Is there per chance someone with higher income living in the household?? That could be the answer.

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  4. spicertax on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    If you began work in late 2007 and received no child support it is not clear how you could pay all of the 2007 bills. I can see why the IRS would question that year. But in 2008 you should win the argument as discussed by others.

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  5. Go AZ on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    One of the things that HRB does is to ‘guarantee’ their work – you should have shown them the letters and had them help deal with it. They are supposed to pay penalties and interest if the return is wrong.

    I agree with the others – that auditor was a total jerk, and didn’t know the rules himself. Go back to HRB right now – their district office can help you.

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  6. tro on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    there are some IRS employees who are not the epitome of courtesy
    you can take your case to the Tax Advocate, especially with the research you have from IRS publications(altho you have to realize they put a disclaimer on almost anything they publish)
    but this is definitely wrong and needs to be corrected, the Tax Advocate works for your interest

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  7. Quick Answers on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    I didn’t read the entire post.

    If you in fact have all the receipts to show your total cost of housing for 2007 and 2008 and can prove that your wages were enough to pay more than half, then submit everything as an audit reconsideration. If approved, the IRS would refund money paid in the past 2 years. However, you have to finish paying the money before you can do the audit reconsideration. The link below contains the information and addresses.

    The iffy issue is 2007. Your not working until summer and your brother paying the hotel bill for half the year does not help your case. Neither does getting food stamps.


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