My husband has no income and owes a lot in back taxes (something like $10,000). I think he did not pay sales taxes on a LLC business. He lost that business in 2012 and never contacted the IRS to take care of the taxes he owes. He is not receiving letters or phone calls from the IRS so I don't think they are actively trying to collect that money.=======>>>>>> The statutes of limitations of the IRS; the IRS has 3 years to give you a refund, 3 years to audit your tax return, and 10 years to collect any tax due. They put time limits on various tax-related actions that you and the IRS can take. Typically, this statute of limitation cannot be extended, unless written consent is given before the period ends. However, the 3 year statute of limitations does not apply when fraudulent tax returns are filed, a separate statute of limitations on tax fraud applies
Could I be liable for the taxes he owes if I file jointly, considering that those back taxes come from an LLC he owned before we were married?========>>>>>>>yes , I thnk so;aslongas you file a joint federal return, both you and your spouse are jointly and individually responsible for any tax,back taxes, penalty and interest due on the return.so in your case, you are responsible not only for the tax liability shown on your joint return but also any additional tax liability the IRS determines to be due. For example, you can be held responsible for all the tax due, even if the other spouse had all the income. And the joint and individual responsibility continues EVEN after a divorce.
And if I choose married but filing separately, can I claim him as a dependent?=========>>>>>>it depends. In general, Spouses are not dependents of each other.however,aslongas you file a separate return, you can claim the exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer and you provide more than half of the dependent's total support during the year.
The MFS filing status provides fewer tax benefits than filing joint returns;mfs is generally perceived as the least beneficial of all the filing statuses. MFS taxpayers are not eligible to claim Tuition and fees deduction; Student loan interest deduction or etc and its tax rate is higher than MFJ rate. Additionally, MFS taxpayers must both claim the standard deduction or must both itemize their deductions. In other words, you cannot claim the standard deduction if your spouse is itemizing. If you reside in a community property state, then,Community property is considered to be jointly owned by both you. Accordingly, each spouse generally reports half of the total community property income on his or her separate tax return. Similarly, community property deductions are split in half, with each spouse reporting half the deduction on their separate return.
I'm finding stuff about claiming children and parents as dependents on the IRS website but nothing about spouses.====>>As mentioned above; In general, you can’t claim your spouse as your dependent.