Seven Facts you should know about the Innocent Spouse Relief

Tax Planning
August 16, 2018
Voluntary IRS Payments
August 23, 2018
Show all

Seven Facts you should know about the Innocent Spouse Relief

Before filing for Innocent Spouse Relief please read the following information.

When a couple files a joint tax return, there are circumstances where one party might be viewed as been wronged by the other concerning the erroneous tax returns filed.

Erroneous items can be seen as unreported income or incorrect deductions by one spouse (or former spouse) without the knowledge of the other.

However, getting to be proved as an innocent spouse can be quite problematic but there are factors you should know about when thinking about filing for the Innocent spouse relief.

1.     Joint and Several Liability

A lot of married taxpayers might choose to file a tax return as jointly due to the benefits that this filing status allows. When filing jointly, you should be aware that the both of you are “jointly and severally liable” for all tax liabilities incurred including tax, interests, and penalties.

2.     Abuse can be a deciding factor

A lot of women who are abused or lack education may be scared to question their husbands about the income tax return. Even after the divorce, the abused spouse may also be held liable for the erroneous tax returns filed jointly during the marriage.

3.     A Divorce Decree Means Nothing

Even when the divorce decrees that the former spouse should be held responsible for all amounts filed on the joint returns, the other spouse will also be held liable for it because the clause “joint and several liabilities” still stands.

This is because the IRS has stated that it has nothing to do with divorce proceedings because it does not protect government interests.

If ever the divorce decrees are allowed to allocate liability, it will be seen as an attempt to trump federal law and by so doing go against the best interest of the federal government.

4.     The application is a must

When you do seek innocent spouse relief, you must submit to the IRS, a completed Form 8857.  Also, you must file this form within two years of the first attempt by the IRS to collect this tax return.

5.     When filing, Caution is necessary

The 8857 Form requires that you answer all questions and every box should be checked before filing. This form might need very sensitive details, but caution must be taken because any error might hinder you from qualifying for the Innocent spouse relief.

6.     The award might be Void, Partial or full

You might receive the Innocent spouse relief in full or in part depending on the circumstances considered.

This may be that:

  • You might be awarded in full if you have proved beyond reasonable doubt that you have no knowledge of the understated tax filings or you have no reason to have known about it.
  • You might be awarded partially if you had some knowledge about it, but wasn’t fully aware of the level of understatements in the Joint Tax returns.

7.     Your Spouse Will Be Notified

According to law, the IRS must inform your spouse about the innocent spouse relief you have requested. This is done to enable your spouse to participate in the proceedings.

This law holds for everyone no matter the circumstances; even if there is abuse in the picture.

However, to protect your interest, your spouse will not receive your personal information such as your new address, to keep you safe. You can also work with a group for a battered spouse to serve as a support group against possible eventualities.

If you or someone you know thinks that he/she is eligible for a claim of Innocent Spouse Relief  or any other Tax Liability issue now would be a great time to come in and let us help you resolve the issue. I can be contacted at (212) 320-8191 or by email at


Urgent Tax Services

6009 16th Ave,

Brooklyn, NY 11204

Ph. (212) 320-8191

Fax (646) 626-6447



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *