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Filing for taxes - possible fraud?

So my friend was married in one state and they seperated almost 5 years ago. She moved to another state leaving behind EVERYTHING due to issues and remarried. She has NO CLUE if she was even divorced but the 2nd state never cross referenced for her marriage. She's been married for 5 months! If she files her taxes as Married or jointly with her NEW husband, will she be prosecuted for fraud? She's had NO contact with the 1st husband since June of 04 and no clue if he's even still alive.

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Asked by Anonymous at 7:58 AM on Jan. 14, 2009 in Money & Work

Answers (12)
  • How she not know? It's a very simple thing to find out. She could possibly or have that marriage annulled and even pay back what she got in the refund.


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:01 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • I wouldn't think they'd find out honestly.. maybe federal could but if the state didn't recognize her previous marriage than chances are, they won't see it when they do her taxes either.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:05 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • If she has no clue if she's divorced, then there's a pretty good chance she's not. There's all kinds of paperwork involved, and she would have had to sign something. Not sure what the federal law is, or rather how stringent it is, but bigamy is illegal, and people have been prosecuted for it. She could do a search of the public records of the state she was married in the first time to find out if a divorce was filed. If not, then her second marriage is not legal.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:19 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • Trust me she should go ahead and find out now rather than later. She would be better off going ahead and checking with her previous state and divorcing or whatever need be then to go ahead and file taxes with this guy. They could also prosecute her for fraud as said and Bigamy. She could get into a whole help of trouble. Tell her to be responsibel and take care of things for they get worse.

    Answer by lovinmomto3 at 8:19 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • If she was divorced she would know. They have to serve you in order to process the divorce. If they cannot then they put ads in the paper in that town and any town they think she might be in to say shes being served and needs to go to court. Then the divorce proceeds. It sounds like shes likely NOT legally divorced and has two husbands which is a crime. If she files it will flag the system. Now the irs has no idea who is married or divorced they dont cross reference but she made a BIG mistake marrying without being 100% sure of divorce. It would be fraud in a sense if she gets caught.

    Answer by gemgem at 8:21 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • I don't have an answer but I'm wondering what the chances of her getting caught is?

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:32 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • I have no clue what the answer is, but I'm wondering what kind of person is stupid enough to get married without obtaining a divorce first.

    Answer by Dewdlemom at 8:54 AM on Jan. 14, 2009


    Answer by Kay300 at 9:27 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • A lot of states have files online now adays. Diviorce filings are one that this is public. Try that.

    I don't think it is fraud. She has cut all ties with the prior husband and has reason to believe she is divorced (correct?). Then the new marriage should be vaild. Besides, I don't think the IRS checks. So unless the ex isfiling married together or married separate and has HER SSN on HIS return, then the IRS most likely won't catch it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:10 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • Actually, there are some states where you do not need the signature of the other party in a divorce proceeding after a certain number of years. I know PA is one of those states. When she went to get her marriage license for her second marriage, one of the questions she should have been asked is if she had been married before. If she said no, then she lied on a federal form and can be punished for that.

    She needs to find out if she is still married to #1.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:13 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

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