Make sure you update the IRS and state on amount you receive at close or you could be audited and fined!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

Last year I sold a listing in Sexton Mountain neighborhood that was being sold because of a divorce. Now, the fact that it was a divorce is partially what lead to the problem that I got the call on today. You see this couple had equity in their home, they had owned their home 23 years and had never refinanced, so they really weren’t hit by the local slide in real estate sales prices.

Well, at close all the proceeds went in to an escrow account for them to fight it out in court who got what and for how much. (You see besides the house, they were also fighting over everything including the lawn furniture. But, despite that battle title had to issue each of them a 1099 stating at the time of close as far as title was concerned it was all being split 50/50 and that is what each 1099 would show.

Home sales and taxes

At the closing table they were told by me and then again by the escrow officer that since this was going in to an escrow account with the lawyers and when it finally goes to court that it may not end up a 50/50 situation, they would in the end need to report the correct amount to the IRS or they could be over or under billed for the 2009 tax year.

Well, here it is May 2010 and I get a call from the ex-wife stating she is being audited because the amount she reported she got is different than what they feel she owed on. You see, she took the 1099 issued by the title company and turned that in with her taxes, which normally would have been the correct thing to do. The only problem is that in the divorce trial she ended up with 83% of the assists from the house which ended up giving her a bigger tax burden.

Now, this wouldn’t have been so bad, but the husband when he filed his taxes as a single person for 2009, he used the updated amount and the ex-wife filled using the old amount. (Basically shorting the government on what they were owed) An honest mistake, but not one the government tends to over look or understand when you try to explain it to them.

Unfortunately, she will end up with not only an additional amount of tax owed, but she is will also be being hit with additional interest and penalties of course.  So, if you are in a situation that the money from the sale of your house is being split, make sure that any changes in that split are reported to the IRS or you to could find yourself in the IRS office writing a big check if they catch it like they did here.


Todd Clark - Broker / Sales Coach
All Brokers Real Estate
Phone: (503)524-9494
Fax: (503)622-8739

Twitter Bird by Janko.

Beaverton Oregon Homes for Sale, Beaverton OR homes for sale, homes for sale in zip code, 97006, 97007, 97008, 97005, 97223, 97224, 97124, 97123, Beaverton Oregon Realtor, Beaverton OR Realtor, Beaverton Oregon MLS Search, Beaverton OR MLS Search, 1st time home buying expert, short sale expert, avoiding foreclosure in beaverton, helping families home, LivingBeaverton, Townhomes for sale, home for sale, house for sale, Merlo Station, Hart Neighborhood, Greenway Neighorborhood, Sexton Mountain Neighborhood, Aloha Neighborhood, Lexington Neighborhood, Cooper Mountain neighborhood, Sorrento neighborhood, Murrayhill Neighborhood. Beaverton Oregon Real Estate, Beaverton OR real estate, Todd Clark, (503)524-9494,,,

©2010 Todd Clark - Make sure you update the IRS and state on amount you receive at close or you could be audited and fined!


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor® 05/16/2010 06:46 AM
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Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Todd good advice.  I think some folks will benefit from this very important information.  You can't fool uncle sam!

May 15, 2010 04:44 PM #1
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Todd... Great example of why, especially in a situation involving divorce or estate property, I always recommend professional tax guidance. 

May 15, 2010 04:47 PM #2
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Ouch! Not a situation I would recommend for either myself or my clients. Thanks for sharing this, it can be passed along as great advice for anyone finding themselves in similar straits.

May 15, 2010 04:48 PM #3
Jon Zolsky
FunCoast Realty 386-405-4408 - Ponce Inlet, FL
your Daytona Condo Agent


Wow, interesting. I did  not know that, or, better say, never thought about it. Now I know to be more caredul if the situation happen here

May 15, 2010 04:52 PM #4
Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

wow....great advice!!!

May 15, 2010 05:34 PM #6
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Todd - Many home seller are not aware of IRS owed tax liability, and real estate professionals can not give tax advise. A very educational blog.

May 15, 2010 05:35 PM #7
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

All the more reason to avoid the divorce and simply opt for "a fight to the finish".

May 15, 2010 06:18 PM #8
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

That is why you talk to your Accountant when selling a home due to divorce.

May 16, 2010 12:03 AM #9
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

I hate those guys. Sometimes they are not always correct. I've been thru an audit & I feel for Mrs. Seller in that regard. Have to pay attention with income as the IRS wants their cut!

May 16, 2010 01:16 AM #10
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Easily understood mistake, but being warned twice should have been enough to prevent this.  Then again, the fact that she got that much more should be a little relief.

May 16, 2010 01:42 AM #11
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I always use a great cpa for my taxes,and I can't imagine anyone doing their own, especially in this type of a situation...

May 16, 2010 02:57 AM #12
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Todd, this is definitely good advice...and, of course, I didn't know this so thanks for the info.

May 16, 2010 06:44 AM #13
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
PK Real Estate Utah South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Thanks for the advice Todd. I wasn't aware of this so it will be great information to pass along if I ever have a situation like this.

May 16, 2010 07:00 AM #14
Joe Sosky
KW Commercial - Vancouver, WA
Commercial Real Estate Broker - (360) 816-9652

Good information Todd.  It's why we need to continue to tell our client to consult with their attorney and tax consultant on real estate transactions.



May 16, 2010 09:44 AM #15
John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana

Todd I wonder how many agents want to play tax lawyer and give the wrong advice.  The IRS never sleeps.

May 16, 2010 01:07 PM #16
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Very helpful information. Experience certainly is the best  and sometimes the most painful teacher.


May 16, 2010 01:29 PM #17
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Thanks for pointing this out.  Haven't had this situation yet but you never know when it may come up.

May 16, 2010 04:55 PM #18
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