Taxpayers who file joint tax returns are jointly and severally liable for any liability arising from that tax year.
This means each spouse is 100% personally liable for any tax, interest, and penalties owed. The tax law allows Innocent Spouse Relief for qualifying joint filers.
A qualifying spouse could owe less or no tax, interest, or penalties, while the other spouse remains 100% personally liable.
The IRS has several different tests to determine whether a taxpayer is entitled to Innocent Spouse Relief, each test with its own different standards. Some of the common issues that arise are whether the tax deficiency was solely attributable to one spouse, whether the requesting spouse knew or had reason to know that there was an understatement of tax, and whether it would be unfair to hold the requesting spouse liable for the tax. The IRS can apply a different set of standards if the spouses are separated or divorced, as well as in situations where the facts and circumstances warrant an equitable resolution of the matter.
There is a limited timeframe to submit a request for Innocent Spouse Relief, and taxpayers who may qualify should seek their options sooner rather than later. Our team represents taxpayers who request Innocent Spouse Relief from the initial request through the appeal and litigation process if necessary.
Contact us for assistance.