Marriages don’t always work out the way you expect. Dealing with marital issues, separation or divorce is enough of a headache; you shouldn’t need to worry about your spouse’s (or ex-spouse’s) tax debt. Fortunately, the IRS has a relief provision for spouses who aren’t directly responsible for this debt. This is known as Innocent Spouse Relief.
The most common criteria for innocent spouse eligibility are:
- You filed a joint return.
- There were omitted or erroneous items on the return that the innocent spouse had no knowledge of when the return was filed with the IRS.
- You can prove that you didn’t know of issues or had no way to know about them when the return was filed. This is very important and one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome in the negotiations.
Ultimately, there are many variables to consider – including whether or not you reside in a community property state – that will help you determine how to best tackle an Innocent Spouse Relief request. These requests can work out in your favor. However, due to the complex conditions required for Innocent Spouse Relief to be granted, it’s not recommended that you do it without the help of a professional.
Please contact us to discuss any questions about eligibility.