Innocent Spouse Tax Relief
When a married couple files a joint tax return, both spouses can be held liable for the same tax debts and required restitution of those debts. This is what’s called Joint and Several, and what many people don’t realize is that the IRS is not required to enforce a collection against a specific spouse first, even if the divorce decree states otherwise.
This is where Innocent Spouse Tax Relief comes into play. Under this provision, the spouse who was unaware of underpayment of taxes can be spared from having to share the burden of repaying the debt. In order to file an innocent spouse request, one spouse is generally required to prove he or she had no actual knowledge of the tax liability. There are many factors the IRS takes into consideration, and for a complete list, visit IRS.gov, publication 971. But here are some of the reasons that may be considered justification for requesting Innocent Spouse include:
- Forging of signatures by the offending spouse
- Fear of spousal abuse for asking for information
- Denial of access to financial records.
Even if the IRS denies your eligibility for Innocent Spouse Tax Relief, it will still consider Separation of Liability or Equitable Relief. In most cases, there is a two year time limit to file a request for Innocent Spouse Relief.
As soon as you become aware of your need for this type of relief, call Pairett CPA, PLLC at 940-498-7422.