Maybe. Your wages and property might be at risk of IRS seizure for your spouse’s tax bill, depending on the state where you live. In most states, property owned by one spouse before marriage remains that spouse’s separate property during marriage. Assets acquired during marriage, however, are generally considered joint property. When couples own property together, IRS problems can arise. The IRS can legally go after jointly owned assets to cover the tax debt of just one spouse. The IRS cannot, however, take the share of the non-debtor spouse. See a local attorney for help. Be particularly aware of these specific problem areas: Gifts. If a spouse without an IRS tax debt gives a spouse who has a tax debt an interest in property, the IRS can grab it. For example, Tiffany deeds her separate property boat to her husband, Bobbo, and herself as joint tenants. The IRS can seize the boat for Bobbo’s debt, although the IRS would have to pay the wife for her half interest in the boat once it was sold. Commingled property. If spouses deposit funds into a joint account and use that account to pay joint expenses, the funds are commingled. The IRS can take the entire account to satisfy the tax debt of one spouse. If the couple uses commingled funds to purchase property, and the IRS seizes it for only one spouse’s tax debt, the IRS must give the non-debtor spouse one-half of the sales proceeds. Wages. The IRS, quite unfairly, can take the wages of one spouse to pay for the sole tax debt of the other spouse. Some couples have divorced just to stop the IRS from taking the wife’s wages for taxes owed by the husband prior to marriage. They may continue to live together after the divorce, but the wife’s earnings are no longer within the IRS’s grasp.