Innocent spouse relief
Information about The Tax Resolution Company
The first requirement for an Innocent Spouse Claim is that you filed or intend to file a joint return with your spouse. If this is not the case, you do not qualify for Injured Spouse Relief. You may STOP HERE!
Innocent Spouse Relief is for liabilities that arise from a joint return, that arise after the joint return was filed, caused by omitted or erroneous items on the return that the innocent spouse was unaware of at the time the return was filed.
- Fraudulent deductions claimed by the other spouse that are later disallowed or
- Income of the other spouse that was left off the return
There are three types of relief from joint and individual liability for spouses who filed joint returns:
(1) Innocent Spouse Relief for additional tax you owe because your spouse or former spouse failed to report income or claimed improper deductions or credits.
(2) Relief by Separation of Liability provides for the allocation of additional tax owed between you and your spouse or former spouse because an item was not reported properly on a joint return. The additional tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for.
(3) Equitable Relief may apply when you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief for something not reported properly on a joint return. You may also qualify for equitable relief if the correct amount of tax was reported on your joint return but the tax remains unpaid.
You must meet all of the following conditions to qualify for "innocent spouse relief."
(1) You filed a joint return, which has an understatement of tax, directly related to your spouse's erroneous items. Any income omitted from the joint return is an erroneous item. Deductions, credits, and property bases are erroneous items if they are incorrectly reported on the joint return.
(2) You establish that at the time you signed the joint return you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understatement of tax.
(3) Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax.
(4) You request relief no later than 2 years after the date the IRS first attempted to collect the tax from you.
To qualify under "relief by separation of liability" you must have filed a joint return and must meet one of the following requirements at the time you request relief:
(1) You are divorced or legally separated from the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief; or
(2) You are widowed; or
(3) You have not been a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12–month period ending on the date you file Form 8857.
How To File: Innocent Spouse Relief is claimed on IRS Form 8857 - Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. This form is not filed with any other form.
When To File: File an Innocent Spouse Claim as soon as you become aware of a tax liability for which only your spouse or former spouse should be responsible. You MUST file the Innocent Spouse Claim no later than 2 years after the IRS's first attempt to collect the tax from you. See instructions for details.
Where to File: Send claim to:
Internal Revenue Service
Stop 840F, PO Box 120053
Covington, KY 41012
It can take several months for an Innocent Spouse Claim to be processed. You should be aware that your spouse or former spouse will be contacted to provide input into the process.
Innocent Spouse Claims can be complex and full of nuances. TRC has a great deal of experience in filing Innocent Spouse Claims and we would be happy to help you. Contact us today for assistance.
Copyright 1994 - 2011 by The Tax Resolution Company - All rights reserved.