Case Study #3: Marriage and divorce - Spidell

Case Study #3: Marriage and divorce

Laura and Cindy got married in 2018, and they filed their 2018 return jointly. But then they divorced in 2019, and neither one has filed their 2019 return. On their 2018 return, their refund was deposited into Cindy’s bank account (only her name is on the account).

Unless Laura files a 2019 return with her own bank account information, she won’t receive a separate economic impact payment, and the joint economic impact payment is going to go into Cindy’s account. Or, Laura could use the IRS portal to provide her bank information.

Unanswered question: Will the IRS send a check to Laura if she doesn’t file a return? If the IRS sends the whole amount to Cindy, can Laura reconcile the credit on her 2020 return and claim her half of the credit on the 2020 return, or will her only recourse be to get her half of the payment from Cindy?

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