Innocent Spouse Relief. Please help me.

July 26, 2018
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Innocent Spouse Relief. Please help me.

When you have a spouse whom you claim has filed an erroneous item either from unreported income or incorrect deduction, you can become relieved from paying the tax returns for such circumstances. This relief can be achieved by filling for Innocent spouse relief.

What you must do to qualify

These might seem a bit easy, but in truth, some conditions must be met. If you wish to apply for the innocent spouse relief, you must meet each of the conditions below:

  • You must have filed a joint return with your spouse (or ex-spouse).
  • You must have filed a joint return that shows an understatement of accounts in the Joint tax returns.
  • There is no record of you and your spouse transferring properties to one another in a fraudulent scheme.
  • You can show that at the time you signed this joint return, you had no idea that the accounts were understated and there were even no reasons for you to know.

When all of these are taken into account, there will be no reason why you will be liable to the understatement of tax.

Indications of Unfairness for Innocent Spouse Relief

Apart from these conditions, the IRS might also consider many other facts before making any decision whether to hold you responsible for the understatement. These factors include:

  • Whether you received a significant benefit (defined next), either directly or indirectly, from the understatement.
  • If your spouse (or former spouse) deserted you.
  • Whether you and your spouse have been divorced or separated.
  • If you received a benefit on the return from the understatement.

Requesting Relief: The Cons

Even when you have met the conditions above, it is more challenging to get accepted for the innocent spouse relief.

The problem lies in trying to prove the reasons why you do not know about the understated tax. A lot of judges might have different ideas about why you should qualify for the relief or not.

Here are some of the subtle reasons you may need to consider that may hinder you from getting this relief.

·        Level of Literacy

If you have attained a substantial level of education such as a university degree, you might find it hard convincing the judge about having no idea about it before signing your Tax returns.

It is expected that you must be able to check through your tax papers before adding your signature to it.

·        Level of Expenses before this time

You might have a hard time proving to the judge about this if you have had some high lifestyle at the same time as the tax cheat. The Judge might even think that you did benefit from it as well.

What do you do?

Nevertheless, even as there are many problems with other circumstances that might hinder you from receiving the relief, you should go ahead and pick the Form 8857 for innocent spouse relief.

Remember, you must have passed the initial conditions. However, if you do not qualify for the innocent spouse relief, there are many other ways you lay claim such as:

  • Separation of Liability relief
  • Equitable Relief

In a nutshell, claiming the innocent spouse relief can be quite challenging and therefore, you should prepare with the utmost caution. When you are filling the Form 8857, take precautions to answer all questions correctly to suit your purpose, you might be qualified to receive the relief.


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