What is Innocent Spouse Relief?

joint filing 1040

Many married taxpayers file a joint return because of the financial benefits. Even if a couple later divorces, both taxpayers are jointly and individually responsible for tax debt. In many cases, one spouse can be held responsible for tax dues even when the income was earned by the other spouse.

If you or your former or current spouse is struggling to get out of tax debt, then you may be eligible to request for innocent spouse relief. Generally, there are three types of tax relief for joint filings:

  1. Innocent Spouse Relief provides you relief from additional tax you owe if your spouse or former spouse failed to report income, reported income improperly, or claimed improper deductions or credits.
  2. Separation of Liability Relief provides for the allocation of additional tax owed between you and your former spouse or your current spouse from whom you are separated because an item was not reported properly on a joint return. The tax allocated to you is the amount for which you are responsible.
  3. Equitable Relief may apply when you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief for something not reported properly on a joint return and generally attributed to your spouse. You may also qualify for equitable relief if the correct amount of tax was reported on your joint return but the tax remains unpaid.

Each type of joint filing tax relief option has different eligibility requirements. It’s important to understand if you meet the proper requirements before filing any paperwork. Many taxpayers do not realize that joint filing tax relief exists, which is why working with a tax attorney at Luongo Tax is the best way to guarantee that you get the relief you deserve.

If you have a tax question, visit our tax problems page.

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