Innocent Spouse Relief

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

If the IRS is imposing extra charges on you due to your spouse or ex-spouse’s mistake in filing taxes, you shouldn’t have to bear the consequences and pay extra money to the IRS. You can seek help from our qualified innocent spouse relief lawyer in Washington, DC who represents these types of tax resolution 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.

Tax Relief Counsel can assist you in resolving tax debts to the IRS caused by your spouse, whether current or former. Our tax attorney will handle your case from start to finish, striving to achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Contact our office today for a free virtual consultation and to learn more about the next steps.

Innocent Spouse Relief

Who Qualifies for Innocent Spouse Relief?

Qualifying for innocent spouse relief is not a guaranteed outcome. It may take up to 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. However, make sure to keep in mind these five essential regulations when seeking eligibility for innocent spouse relief.
  1. You must file taxes jointly
  2. The error has to 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 you filed your taxes jointly with your spouse, innocent spouse relief can help you. This applies if there is missing income on your tax return that belongs to your spouse and not you. You need to prove that at the time you signed the tax return, you did not have any knowledge or reason to believe that you were not paying the correct amount of taxes. The IRS considers a variety of factors when deciding whether to grant innocent spouse relief, including the nature of the error, your financial situation, educational background, level of involvement in the activity that caused the issue, whether it’s part of a pattern and other relevant factors. Additionally, the IRS takes into account fairness, including whether you benefitted from the tax mistake, your marital status, and if your spouse has abandoned you.

Different Types of Relief For Spouses

The IRS offers three types of relief for spouses who filed joint tax returns and face several and joint liability. These options are listed below:
  • Innocent Spouse Relief – This helps spouses avoid paying extra taxes that may arise due to their former or current spouse’s incorrect reporting of income, improper reporting of income, or wrongful claims for credits or deductions.
  • Separation of Liability Relief – This relief aims to ensure that you are only responsible for the amount that 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 will be the ones accountable for most of the resulting penalties.
  • Equitable Relief – If you are ineligible for the first two types of relief, you may still be eligible for equitable relief. This relief applies if the problematic tax item is usually linked to your spouse or ex-spouse.

What Is Innocent Spouse Relief?

Innocent spouse relief is a way for people to avoid paying extra tax, interest, and penalties if their spouse or ex-spouse didn’t report income, reported income incorrectly, or made improper claims for tax deductions or credits. It’s important to note that innocent spouse relief is different from injured spouse relief.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Get Innocent Spouse Relief?

To qualify for innocent spouse relief, the spouse must make the request within two years from the time the IRS started collection. For equitable relief, the request must be made during the period when the IRS can collect the taxes owed, which is usually within ten years from the assessment date if the taxes remain unpaid.

To be eligible for innocent spouse relief, you must meet three specific conditions. If you fail to satisfy any of these conditions, you may not receive this type of assistance. These conditions include the following:

  • The taxpayer filed a joint tax return with their spouse. The spouse made errors that resulted in an understatement of tax. These errors include incorrect credits, deductions, and property basis, as well as failing to report some income. The taxpayer is not responsible for these errors.
  • The taxpayer has stated that they were unaware of any errors when they signed the tax return and had no reason to believe that they were understating the amount of tax owed.
  • If the taxpayer meets the two conditions mentioned above, it would not be fair to hold them responsible considering all the circumstances and facts.

How Do I File For Innocent Spouse Relief With The IRS?

To request innocent spouse relief, you need to fill out IRS Form 8857. However, if you prefer, you can provide a signed written statement with the same details instead of the seven-page form. The IRS will assess the amount of tax you must pay. If you believe you qualify for innocent spouse relief, here are a few points to consider:

  • If you request innocent spouse relief from the IRS, they will inform your spouse or ex-spouse and give them an opportunity to provide information about your claim.
  • Your spouse or ex may be responsible for paying the tax, interest, and penalties to the IRS.
  • If you have already made payment for some or all of your tax bill, the IRS will only provide a refund for the payments made using your own funds.
  • If any portion of the taxes, interest, and penalties do not meet the criteria for innocent spouse relief, both individuals are responsible for paying that part of the total amount due.
  • Innocent spouse relief cannot be granted for certain taxes including individual shared responsibility payments and specific employment taxes.

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

Innocent spouse relief mainly deals with deciding who is responsible for paying a tax bill, while injured spouse relief enables a spouse who has been harmed to retrieve their share of a tax 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 for this relief, you need to fill out IRS Form 8379. However, keep in mind that it may take the IRS a few months to process your request.

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

Contact Our Innocent Spouse Relief Lawyer In Washington, DC

Finding out that you are facing legal consequences due to your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s mistakes on a tax return can be devastating. If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s crucial to seek the counsel of our knowledgeable innocent spouse relief lawyer in Washington, DC who specializes in tax law and these specific types of cases. Don’t delay, contact Tax Relief Counsel to claim your free virtual consultation and learn more about how we can help you through such a difficult time.