What is IRS Innocent Spouse Relief?Innocent spouse relief is a method for the innocent spouse to be relieved of having to pay back the debt of their spouse or ex-spouse. If the spouse or ex-spouse did not report correctly or omitted information when reporting to the IRS, the innocent spouse may qualify. If you feel you are an innocent spouse, you can file a form with the IRS, which they will then investigate. If your spouse or ex-spouse did not report income, had incorrect deductions (even if you filed a joint return), and you can prove that at the time the taxes were filed, that you were unaware, you may qualify. If the IRS determines that it would be unfair to hold you liable, then they will excuse you from having to pay certain taxes back. This does not mean that you will be relieved from paying all your taxes. The IRS will determine which taxes you still need to pay back
What if You Know About the IRS Tax Debt?If you had any prior knowledge or a reason to know about the tax debt that your spouse or ex-spouse has, you may not qualify for IRS innocent spouse relief. To determine if you had any “reason to know” the IRS will assess certain situations such as the types of inaccurate information, your financial situation, your educational background, your business background, the extent of your participation, whether you asked about the items, and whether this is a pattern in your tax history. If the IRS determines that the inaccurate item is unknown, then partial relief may apply. The IRS will also determine if you benefited from the inaccurate information, if your spouse deserted you, or if you were divorced at the time. All of the factors play a part in whether the IRS will grant you innocent spouse relief or if you will be required to pay back the full amount.
Other Options for Spouse ReliefIf you ultimately do not qualify for IRS innocent spouse relief, you may qualify for relief by separation of liability. What this means is that you, your spouse or ex-spouse, divide the amount and you both pay back the debt that the IRS determines you each owe. To qualify for this you must be legally separated or no longer married to the spouse for whom you are requesting relief. You can also not be members of the same household. You must be able to prove that you are divorced or separated and that you did not have any actual knowledge of the taxes you are inquiring about relief from.
FOR INNOCENT SPOUSE RELIEF.