Most wives file joint tax returns with their husbands to take advantage of the tax breaks afforded to a married couple. And, you each were taking responsibility for paying any taxes, penalties and interest due on each other’s taxes when you signed the joint return.
The problem lies when your husband misreported his tax information. You then could be on the hook for any penalties assessed due to his error.
However, you may be able to file a request to be treated as an “Innocent Spouse” by the California Franchise Tax Board and/or the Internal Revenue Service.
If you qualify, the government will assign the penalties and assessments to your husband should he be the party at fault.
You’ll need to discuss an Innocent Spouse Filing with your tax preparer and your California divorce attorney. You need to take this issue seriously if you suspect your husband is liable for tax penalties because you do not want to be held accountable for his tax problems.