Tax Relief Counsel:

Skilled Innocent Spouse Relief Lawyer

Your path to financial freedom starts here, working hand in hand with a trusted innocent spouse relief lawyer in Washington, D.C. Tax Relief Counsel can substantiate your innocent spouse status, protect your financial security, and offer much-needed peace of mind.

Experienced Innocent Spouse Relief Lawyer in Washington, D.C.

In 2016 alone there were 45,863 requests for Innocent Spouse Relief

If the IRS is imposing extra charges on you due to a mistake your spouse or ex-spouse made in their filing, you shouldn’t have to bear the consequences.

The experienced innocent spouse relief lawyer at Tax Relief Counsel frequently represents clients in these types of cases. We can provide you with legal options to rectify your tax problems and be there by your side to guide you through the process.

Our team can assist you in resolving unfair tax debts to the IRS created by your current or former spouse. Our seasoned tax attorney will manage every aspect of your case from start to finish, striving to achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances.

Contact our office today to take advantage of a free virtual consultation and learn more about your next steps.

What Is Innocent Spouse Relief?

Innocent spouse relief offers individuals a way to avoid paying extra tax, interest, and penalties when their spouse or ex-spouse fails to report their income correctly or makes improper claims for tax deductions or credits.

It’s important to note that innocent spouse relief differs from injured spouse relief. The former protects individuals who were unaware of their spouse’s errors or misdeeds on a joint tax return. The latter comes into play when a person’s tax refund is withheld to satisfy their spouse’s past-due debts, allowing them to reclaim their portion of the refund.

Who Qualifies for Innocent Spouse Relief?

Who Qualifies for Innocent Spouse Relief?

Qualifying for innocent spouse relief isn’t a guaranteed outcome. It may take six months or more for the IRS to consider and potentially reject your request. You can find more information on the subject in IRS Publication 971.

Make sure to keep these five essential regulations in mind when you’re considering your eligibility for innocent spouse relief:

  1. You must file taxes jointly
  2. The error must be attributable to the other person
  3. You must prove your innocence
  4. The circumstances must be compelling
  5. You must request innocent spouse relief no later than two years after the IRS started trying to collect the tax from you

If your situation has arisen as a result of taxes filed jointly with your spouse, innocent spouse relief can help you. It may apply if there’s missing income on your tax return that belongs to your spouse and not you. You’ll need to prove that when you signed the tax return, you had no knowledge or reason to believe you weren’t paying the correct amount of taxes.

The IRS weighs various factors when deciding whether to grant innocent spouse relief, including the nature of the error, whether it’s part of a pattern, and the petitioner’s financial situation, educational background, and level of involvement in the activity that caused the issue. 

The agency will also consider certain elements of fairness, including whether you benefited from the tax mistake, your marital status, and whether your spouse has abandoned you.

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Different Types of Relief for Spouses

The IRS offers three types of relief for spouses who have filed joint tax returns and face joint liability.

Innocent Spouse Relief

Innocent spouse relief helps individuals avoid paying extra taxes that arise due to their former or current spouse’s failure to report income, incorrect reporting, or wrongful claims for credits or deductions.

Separation of Liability Relief

This form of relief aims to ensure that you’re only responsible for the amount you owe from a previously filed joint tax return in case of any improper reporting of a particular item. This means that if your spouse or ex-spouse was responsible for any improper filing or claims on your return, they’ll be the one accountable for the resulting penalties.

Equitable Relief

If you’re ineligible for the first two types of relief, you might still qualify for equitable relief. These conditions apply if the problematic tax item can clearly be linked to your spouse or ex-spouse.

How Our Innocent Spouse Relief Lawyer Can Help You

Ramy Shabana, veteran tax attorney and founder of Tax Relief Counsel, is here to support you in several crucial ways.

  • Assessing Your Eligibility

    Ramy will carefully evaluate your circumstances to determine whether you qualify for innocent spouse, separation of liability, or equitable relief.

  • Offering Legal Advice

    Our team can offer dependable legal guidance, explaining your rights and options under IRS regulations and helping you make informed decisions.

  • Preparing Your Application

    We’ll assist you in preparing and submitting all necessary documentation, including Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ensure that your case is presented accurately.

  • Negotiating with the IRS

    We’ll also represent your interests in negotiations with the IRS, advocating on your behalf to secure the best possible outcome.

  • Protecting Your Rights

    Our tax attorney will promote and defend your rights every step of the way to see that you aren’t held responsible for unjust tax liabilities.

  • Overseeing Appeals

    If your innocent spouse claim is denied, we can help you appeal the decision and present a strong case for reconsideration.

Handling innocent spouse relief cases can be complex and emotionally fraught. Our team is here to provide the knowledge and support you need to secure relief and move forward.


Why Choose
Tax Relief Counsel?

Working with the capable tax law professionals at Tax Relief Counsel offers numerous benefits, including the following.



How long does the innocent spouse relief process take?

It can take anywhere from several months to over a year to receive a decision from the IRS after submitting Form 8857. Factors affecting this timeline include the complexity of your case, the volume of cases being processed by the IRS, and whether your case requires further review or appeals.

Do I have other options if I don't qualify for innocent spouse relief?

If you find that you don’t qualify for innocent spouse relief or have questions about your tax liability, our experienced tax attorney may suggest alternative options or strategies. Contact us to discuss your case in greater detail and determine the best course of action for your circumstances.

Am I still liable if I’m divorced from my spouse?

Even if you’re divorced, you can still pursue innocent spouse relief for tax liabilities related to joint returns filed during your marriage. The key factors are when the joint return was filed and when you filed for divorce:

  • Joint Returns Filed Before Divorce: If the joint tax return that caused the debt was filed before your divorce, you can typically seek innocent spouse relief, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Joint Returns Filed After Separation: If you filed a joint return after legally separating but before finalizing the divorce, you may still be eligible for relief.
  • Joint Returns Filed Post-Divorce: If the joint tax return in question was filed after your divorce became official, you should no longer be liable for the tax debt resulting from that return.

It’s important to emphasize that innocent spouse relief eligibility is based on conditions present at the time the joint tax return was filed. This means that as long as you meet the relevant criteria, you can pursue relief even after divorce.

Reach out to our trusted tax lawyer for a free case review to better understand your situation and explore your options.

What’s the Difference Between Innocent Spouse Relief and Injured Spouse Relief?

Innocent spouse relief mainly deals with deciding who is responsible for paying back tax debt. By contrast, injured spouse relief enables a person who has been financially harmed to reclaim their share of a refund from a joint tax return.

If your spouse owes separate federal or state taxes, child or spousal support, or student loan debt, and your share of a joint tax refund was (or will be) applied to cover those debts, you may be eligible for injured spouse relief from the IRS.

To apply, you must fill out Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Keep in mind that it may take the IRS a few months to process your request.

Have Questions?
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Contact our team today to discuss your situation with a reputable tax attorney and take the first step toward the relief you deserve.