No matter the underlying situation, facing tax debt can be an intimidating experience. When this debt is directly tied to something your spouse did rather than your own mistake, the process can become quite frustrating. Fortunately, the IRS has numerous procedures in place for those who wish to seek tax relief.
Innocent spouse relief is a commonly sought-after tax relief methods in place. If your spouse or former spouse improperly reported items or intentionally omitted items from a joint tax return, you could seek relief from any penalties or consequences. The eligibility requirements for innocent spouse relief are strict and include numerous conditions, including:
- The understatement of tax on a joint return is due to erroneous or intentionally misleading items included by your spouse or former spouse.
- When you signed the joint return, you had no knowledge and had no reason to know there was an understatement of tax.
- After a thorough examination of the facts of your situation, it would be unfair for the IRS to hold you liable for the understatement of tax created by your spouse or former spouse.
- You and your spouse did not partake in transferring property to one another during the commission of a fraudulent scheme to defraud the IRS or another party.
With these conditions satisfied, it is possible that the IRS will relieve you of the responsibility for paying these taxes, any interest or any penalties you might have incurred from the understatement of taxes on the joint return. With this investigation completed, the IRS will generally hold your spouse or former spouse solely responsible for any tax liability or consequences.
While these eligibility requirements might seem needlessly complex, the IRS will work to thoroughly investigate the matter.