Am I Liable for My Spouse’s IRS Debt?

couple working together on taxes

When it comes to tax debt, you may be wondering if you are liable for your spouse’s IRS debt. Our Tampa tax debt relief attorneys specialize in this area and can give you the guidance you need. Here is what you should know about being liable for your spouse’s tax debt.

Marital Tax Debt

The first thing to know is that you are not automatically responsible for your spouse’s tax debt. However, there are certain circumstances where you may be held liable. For example, if you filed a joint tax return with your spouse and failed to pay the taxes owed, the IRS can come after you for the unpaid taxes.

Another circumstance where you may be held liable is if you signed a joint liability agreement with your spouse. This is an agreement that states you are both responsible for the taxes owed. If your spouse fails to pay the taxes owed, the IRS can come after you for the unpaid taxes.

If you are facing tax debt, it’s important to seek out the help of a tax debt relief attorney. They can help you understand your options and work with the IRS to find a resolution that is best for you.

Innocent Spouse Relief

If your spouse or ex-spouse owes back taxes and you didn't know about it - you may be relieved to know that you're not automatically responsible for that debt. The IRS has a program called Innocent Spouse Relief that may help you if you meet certain criteria. Innocent Spouse Relief may help you if all of the following are true:

  • You filed a joint return and your spouse or ex-spouse misreported or omitted income, falsely claimed deductions, or incorrectly reported credits;

  • You had no reason to know about the error when you signed the return;

  • The understatement of tax is attributable to your spouse or ex-spouse; and

  • Holding you liable would be unfair.

If you don't qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief, you may still be relieved of responsibility for paying the tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse transferred assets to you without your knowledge, or if your spouse used money that was supposed to be used to pay taxes for other purposes. An experienced tax attorney can help you determine if you qualify and guide you through the process of requesting relief.

Get in touch with our Tampa debt relief attorneys today at (813) 295-7648 to schedule a consultation!

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