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Claims for innocent spouse relief could be risky and expensive if filed outside the two-year period and this necessitates the need to seek other alternatives to getting innocent spouse relief.

Below are some alternatives to filing the innocent spouse relief.

· File a separate return instead of a joint return

If a foul play is being suspected by a spouse, he or she should file for a separate return which will abolish the several liabilities linked with a joint return. However, it takes much effort for a spouse to agree to file for a separate tax return due to the emotional attachments involved, however, that’s the best step to take in this scenario.

·       Take advantage of the CDP hearing

As part of the tax collection process, proper notice will be sent by the IRS to the tax offenders, notifying them of their right to a fair hearing according to code section 6320. The taxpayer needs to make a request for hearing within 30 days of receipt of the notice. It’s important to participate in the CDP hearing as the process costs less than litigation and it is an alternative for the taxpayer to contest a tax liability or seek for an alternative arrangement to tax collection.

·       Extension of time to file a claim for relief

If a taxpayer missed the set deadline of two years, there is a provision for a time extension to enable couples to file for innocent spouse relief. Section 9100 provides for additional time to apply for a tax  relief when a taxpayer can satisfy the IRS probe that he/ she acted rationally and in good faith and if granted relief, will not in any way jeopardize the government’s interests.

·       Release of levy

An innocent spouse can file for the release of levy if the IRS has placed a levy on the taxpayer’s property. The option to file for the release of levy and property return is found under section 6343. The release of levy and property is affected when such withheld levies will cause financial hardship due to the financial condition of the taxpayer. This will be determined after considering if the taxpayer will be able to fulfill the normal financial obligations. The IRS will also consider other criteria before they decide on the amount taxpayers will spend on their basic expenses.

Some of the criteria needed include:

  • Age, employment history, number of dependents and if they also depend on someone else
  • The least cost of feeding, clothing, housing, and other basic needs.
  • The innocent spouse cost of living
  • The amount of property available to pay the taxpayer’s expenses
  • Any distinct challenge, such as special education expenses
  • Any other factor brought to the notice of the IRS

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 

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