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Cindy Sheehan: Taxes and Matrimony

Consider this:

Divorce: When in doubt about how to file, consider a separate return. This ensures that you will not be held liable for the actions of your spouse, if she omits income or overstates expenses. But even if you file a joint return, the innocent spouse provisions of the tax law will protect you if you weren’t aware of the misstatements on the joint return.

Now consider Cindy Sheehan's vow not to pay taxes:

Sheehan, who is asking for a second meeting with President Bush, says defiantly: "My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004. You killed my son, George Bush, and I don't owe you a give my son back and I'll pay my taxes. Come after me (for back taxes) and we'll put this war on trial."

Cindy Sheehan is out of control, and Patrick Sheehan is trying to rescue something from this disaster. Did they file jointly in 2004? If so, Patrick and Cindy are both on the hook for any money owed, and Cindy's promise not to pay means nothing if Patrick has a job and he either willingly pays or has his wages garnished.

If they filed separately, maybe divorcing her will work in his favour in tax court. Certainly a judge might look sympathetically on Patrick and not hold him liable for money owed on Cindy's return.

If the filed jointly, Patrick might make the argument that he did not know back in April what her behaviour was going to be in August. If that's the case, he will need to argue that Cindy Sheehan's attitude changes are relatively recent, and don't reflect a long-standing commitment to the anti-war cause.

Of course, he might also be looking at what kind of trouble she might get into in this tax year for the 2005 filing, and figures he needs to get off this ride and fast.

Patrick has three children he is still supporting, as well as his own future to consider, while Cindy has made it quite clear that she no longer functions as a wife or mother, nor seems to be interested in doing so. That kind of person can't be trusted in tax matters, and Cindy seems to quite willing to sacrifice Patrick's good standing with the IRS to further her cause.

We haven't heard from Patrick Sheehan, so we don't know if the divorce petition is being motivated by emotional or financial considerations. But I wouldn't be surprised if it was a bit of both.

[The original Michelle Malkin post about the divorce has a growing number of links to related pieces.]

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