IRS Innocent Spouse Relief

Did you know that you can get out of the tax debt due to the misdeeds or fraud committed by your spouse?

By requesting innocent spouse relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse (or former spouse) improperly reported items or omitted items on your tax return. Generally, the tax, interest, and penalties that qualify for relief can only be collected from your spouse (or former spouse.) However, you are jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties that do not qualify for relief. The IRS can collect these amounts from either you or your spouse (or former spouse.)

The IRS will figure the tax you are responsible for after you file Form 8857. You are not required to figure this amount. But if you wish, you can figure it yourself. See How To Allocate the Understatement of Tax, within Publication 971 (PDF).

You must meet all of the following conditions to qualify for innocent spouse relief.

  • You filed a joint return which has an understatement of tax due to erroneous items, defined below, of your spouse (or former spouse).
  • 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. See Actual Knowledge or Reason to Know, defined below.
  • Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax. See Indications of Unfairness for Innocent Spouse Relief, below.
  • You and your spouse (or former spouse) have not transferred property to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. A fraudulent scheme includes a scheme to defraud the IRS or another third party, such as a creditor, ex-spouse, or business partner.

Erroneous Items

Erroneous items are either of the following.

  • Unreported income. This is any gross income item received by your spouse (or former spouse) that is not reported.
  • Incorrect deduction, credit, or basis. This is any improper deduction, credit, or property basis claimed by your spouse (or former spouse).

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Tax Debt Resolution for Individuals who owe $50,000 or less to the IRS.









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