Innocent Spouse


Unfortunately, in marriage and life, everything is not always "Happily Ever After". If that is the case, now what? In order to qualify for Spousal Relief, you must meet all of the following conditions to qualify for innocent spouse relief: 1. You must have filed a joint return which has an understatement of tax due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse); 2. You must 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; and 3.      Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax. It’s important to note that a request for innocent spouse relief will not be granted if the IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) 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.

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Because married couples receive benefits if they file their taxes jointly, that is the norm. If there are errors on the tax return, both taxpayers are held responsible. Both of them also now have IRS Problems. Another issue is if you and your spouse have since divorced, you may still be held responsible for the errors and subsequent taxes owed.

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There are five elements that must be met to establish that you qualify for "Classic" Innocent Spouse Relief.

The first element is that must have been a Married Filing Joint return. If no joint return was filed there is no way that Innocent Spouse Relief will be applicable. How do you blame your spouse when you filed a return using the Single filing status for example? You told the IRS that you weren't even married now you turn around and blame your spouse? That may seem elementary but I've seen it happen.

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There are three types of Innocent Spouse Relief. An application for Innocent Spouse Relief is used when a taxpayer feels like their spouse or former spouse should be responsible for a tax liability. The three types of Innocent Spouse Relief are:

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