There may be instances when you will be held liable for your spouse’s or former spouse’s tax liability. This is a common occurrence, especially since most married couples file their taxes jointly. In cases such as this, one tax resolution option is ‘innocent spouse relief.’ If your request is granted by the IRS or FTB the back taxes and penalties will be removed from your responsibility.
Sacramento tax lawyer Jin Kim helps innocent spouses obtain tax relief from the IRS. To learn more about obtaining innocent spouse relief call her office at (916) 299-9913 for a free consultation.
Not all innocent spouse relief requests are granted by the IRS. In fact, there are stringent conditions that must be met. Innocent spouse relief is not granted as a matter of course but is rather decided on a case-by-case basis.
All of the following conditions must be present in order for the IRS to grant your innocent spouse request:
- The understatement was due to an erroneous item listed by or belonging to the other spouse.
- You were not aware of the understatement, nor did you have any reason to be aware of it.
- Holding you responsible for the erroneous tax will be unfair and will lead to an inequitable situation.
If all of the following conditions are met then your request may be granted by the IRS. Since innocent spouse relief requests can be tricky to navigate, it’s helpful to consult a trusted tax lawyer before taking action.
What if I don’t qualify?
If you don’t qualify for innocent spouse relief, there’s still another option to explore, which is equitable relief.
Equitable relief is a tax resolution option that’s available to spouse’s who don’t qualify for innocent spouse relief. A taxpayer will be considered eligible for equitable relief if they can show that the unpaid liability (or at least a part of it) is attributable to the other spouse. Being subjected to abuse or financial control by the other spouse may also qualify an individual for equitable relief.
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