When a married taxpayer files a joint tax return to get the benefit of the filing status, the liability becomes joint and several. Joint and several means that multiple parties can be held liable for the same event or act and responsible for all restitution required. The IRS not is required to enforce a collection action against a specific spouse first, even if the divorce decree states otherwise.
Innocent Spouse Tax Relief alleviates the spouse who was unaware of understatement or underpayment of taxes. In order to file an innocent spouse request, one spouse is generally, but not always, required to prove that he or she had no actual knowledge or no reason to know of understatement or underpayment of tax liability. Some reasons that may be considered justification for requesting Innocent Spouse are; forging of signature by other spouse, fear of asking for information in conjunction with spousal abuse, or denial of access to financial records. There are many other factors the Internal Revenue Service takes into consideration. For a complete list see IRS.gov, publication 971.
If the IRS determines you are not eligible for Innocent Spouse relief they will still consider Separation of Liability or Equitable relief. In most cases, but not all, there is a 2 year time limit to file a request for Innocent Spouse Relief. As soon as you become aware of your situation please contact us immediately.
The Law Offices of Nick Nemeth, PLLC can help determine your are eligibility for Innocent Spouse Relief.
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