According to IRS guidelines, when a married couple files their taxes jointly, both parties are liable for the taxes owed no matter how much taxable income each person earned individually. If your spouse or former spouse made mistakes on your joint return or misrepresented a portion of the income, the IRS doesn’t care who made the errors, they will go after whoever they can find first. Even if you’re divorced, they will do all they can to recover back taxes, penalties, and interest. If your spouse or former spouse has put you in this unfair and potentially expensive situation, you may qualify for innocent spouse relief.
If you qualify for innocent spouse relief, you won’t be responsible for back taxes and fees owed on a joint tax return that intentionally neglected to report your full joint income. If you think you may qualify, review the information below then request a consultation through our website. We help individuals throughout the San Jose, CA area get the innocent spouse tax relief they deserve.
IRS Requirements for Innocent Spouse Tax Relief
According to the IRS rules, you must meet a few basic conditions to qualify:
- The joint return you filed had an understatement of tax that is solely attributable to your spouse’s erroneous item
- At the time you signed the joint return you didn’t know that there was an understatement of tax
- Taking all the facts and circumstances into account shows that it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax
Types of Innocent Spouse Relief
Classic Innocent Spouse Relief
With classic innocent spouse relief, you won’t be responsible for paying back taxes, penalties, and interest if your spouse or former spouse failed to report income on your joint tax return.
Relief by Separation of Liability
This type of tax relief allows you to divide the understatement of tax plus interest and penalties between you and the other party.
If you don’t qualify for the other types of innocent spouse relief, you may still be able to get relief for an underpayment or understatement of tax through Equitable Relief.