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Should I sign our joint tax return without reading it?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2013 | Divorce

Tax Return: My husband wants me to sign the tax returns immediately without even looking at them so he can file and get a refund ASAP. I think we may be headed for a divorce for a lot of reasons I won’t mention here but I need to know if I have to sign the state and federal tax returns just because he tells me to and what are the consequences if I do sign the returns?
The information contained on the tax return is frequently used in court to prove income, expenses and the marital standard of living. The information is also used to help determine the value of business entities owned and operated by the family. It is extremely important that you not sign the return unless you are comfortable with the accuracy of the information contained on the forms. Once a person signs a return the Tax Return is deemed a declaration that the information is ‘true, accurate and complete’. See, U.S. v. J. Bryan Williams, Fourth Circuit, No. 10-2230, decided July 20, 2012 [2012 WL 2948569].You should consult a tax professional to assist you in making a determination of whether you are best served filing ‘jointly’ with your husband, or individually, ‘married filing separately’. The fact that you were married on December 31 of last year does not require that you file ‘jointly’; it merely allows you to file ‘jointly’. Speak to a tax professional to determine what income you must report, what deductions you are entitled to claim and what information you may need to review to determine the accuracy of the tax return already prepared by your husband or his accountant.