Will I be responsible for back taxes that a dependent owes? 5 Answers as of February 05, 2011

My mother in law came to live with us last year. We were planning on claiming her as a dependent, however, she has a house that is in the beginning stages of foreclosure. Since she is going to still owe taxes on the house until the foreclosure process is complete, are my husband and I going to be liable for those taxes or any other outstanding debt if we claim her as a dependent?

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David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
No you will not be.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/5/2011
Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm | Steven J. Fromm & Associates, P.C.
No, just because you are providing her with more than one-half of her support and she otherwise qualifies as your dependent does not make you liable for her own debts. If you co-sign or otherwise guarantee her debts than you do have legal liability.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 1/24/2011
LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
She would be responsible for the taxes and any assets she has would be used to pay the liability.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 1/23/2011
Givner & Kaye
Givner & Kaye | Bruce Givner
No. You are not responsible for someone else's taxes.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
Meyer & Yee, LLP
Meyer & Yee, LLP | Kent W. Meyer
No- her status as a dependent shouldn't make you liable. However, you need to make sure she actually qualifies as your dependent to get the deduction.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
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