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Could innocent spouse relief help with tax debt?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2020 | Tax Debt

It is common for married Atlanta couples to file their taxes jointly. It can help them complete their taxes more quickly and even obtain better tax credits that could help lower their liabilities. However, it is possible that one spouse could withhold information on a tax return or make other mistakes that put both parties in line for tax debt and other consequences from the IRS.

Typically, if an issue arises with a joint tax return, both parties involved are held accountable for the problem. It is even possible for a spouse to still be held liable for tax issues after the couple divorces. However, one spouse may be able to take advantage of the innocent spouse relief option if he or she can prove that the problem arose solely due to the actions of the other spouse.

If a person wants to claim innocent spouse relief, he or she must prove three elements. First, the spouse must prove that an understatement of taxable income resulted solely because of the other spouse’s mistake, such as failing to report income or claiming incorrect deductions. Next, the spouse seeking relief must prove that he or she did not know that the understatement had taken place at the time of signing the return. Lastly, reason must exist that it would be unfair for the IRS to hold the spouse accountable for the issues with the return.

Facing a considerable amount of tax debt can certainly be overwhelming, and Atlanta residents undoubtedly want to understand all of their options for seeking relief. If individuals believe that applying for innocent spouse relief could suit their circumstances, they may wish to discuss this option with experienced tax attorneys. Legal professionals could further explain this option and help with the application process.