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Innocent Spouse Relief

What is Innocent Spouse Relief

According to the IRS, if a joint tax return is signed by each party and filed, both parties are 100% responsible for any taxes owed. In certain circumstances (separation, divorce, current spouse filed a false return, etc.), a petition to remove the other spouse from the tax liability is acceptable.  

How to qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief

Several factors are considered when the IRS is conducting an evaluation. According to the IRS.gov, when seeking innocent spouse relief, the taxpayer filing a joint tax return must meet ALL the following conditions:

  • You filed a joint return that has an understatement of tax (deficiency) that's solely attributable to your spouse's erroneous item. An erroneous item includes income received by your spouse but omitted from the joint return. Deductions, credits, and property basis are also erroneous items if they're incorrectly reported on the joint return
  • You establish that at the time you signed the joint return you didn't know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understatement of tax and
  • Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax

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Walter Wotman, CPA

Walter Wotman, CPA

Founder & Managing Partner

Walter Wotman, CPA is the author of "Tax Champions Guide to Tax Resolution." Amazon #1 Best Seller in the Personal Finance category. He is one of America's most experienced tax negotiators with over 35 years of experience helping thousands of clients settle difficult back tax issues.

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