With one exception, married couples are jointly liable for the tax debt when they file their tax returns. The “innocent spouse” rule is the only exception to this general rule. These allegations are frequently made by divorced couples, while they can also come from married couples. The following three criteria must be met to qualify for innocent spouse relief:
- Due to inaccurate items from the other spouse, there is a tax
- The “innocent spouse” was unaware of the other spouse’s understatement of taxes and had no reason to be aware of
- Holding the “not guilty spouse” responsible for the owed taxes would be
The IRS has loosened the rules in recent years, and more people are now accepting this kind of relief than ever before. The IRS even permits people to be partially innocent at this point and will provide help by allocating the tax responsibility. The paperwork required and the number of things you must establish make this form of relief still difficult to acquire.
The “innocent spouse” cannot successfully demonstrate that they did not know the tax amount that was reported by the other spouse because they did, in fact, freely sign the tax return, which is the most typical reason why this form of tax relief is granted.
Often, to establish innocence, it must be shown that the tax return was signed under duress or that the signature was falsified.
You must submit IRS form 8857 to be granted this kind of relief. You can apply for each of the three categories of innocent spouse relief available using one single form (classic relief, equitable relief, relief by separation of liability). When submitting, it’s crucial to keep in mind the specific conditions for this kind of relief. The most recent regulations can be found in IRS publication 971. You should consult publication 971 for each question to ascertain its purpose before demonstrating how you satisfy the particular criteria it is asking about.
Moreover, a letter outlining how you fit the requirements must be attached.
It will probably be beneficial for you to contact a tax expert to assist you if you believe you are eligible for this form of relief and you owe more than $8,000 in taxes. This type of relief can be difficult to obtain, so having someone who has dealt with many of them might help. Before assisting you, the majority of tax professionals will provide you with a free consultation during which they can assess their chances of handling your case successfully.