innocent spouse relief

Can I Qualify?

For many people, particularly the spouses of business owners, taxes are something they let their husband or wife handle. After all, they know their business. And there is trust to ensure that the IRS gets the money owed to them. Sometimes, a spouse makes a mistake or deliberately tries to hide assets or income from the IRS. This is where the possible need for innocent spouse relief arises.

In cases where a married couple both signs off on a tax form, the other spouse states that everything is true and correct. By doing so, they agree to be jointly liable for the tax return and any resulting tax liability. When problems emerge years later, the IRS has the right to pursue anyone who signed the jointly filed tax form to collect the money owed. Fortunately, there is a section of the law that gives some protection to spouses who were not aware of the business activities of their spouse – innocent spouse relief. However, claiming it can be complex.

What Is Innocent Spouse Relief?

For millions of American couples, it’s common practice to file annual taxes jointly. Typically, a couple pools their financial information together and fills out one common tax form, signing both of their names at the end. By doing this, both spouses attest that they believe all of the information on the forms to be true.

In some cases, however, there is no way for one spouse to know if the financial information given by one spouse is a complete truth. This is most common in cases where one spouse owns a business, giving them ample opportunity to make mistakes or hide income and assets. When the IRS audits the business, they have the legal right to pursue back taxes from spouses who signed the tax form.

This can mean that a person who knew nothing about their spouse’s daily business operations will also be liable to pay the back taxes and penalties and will deal with enforced collection action by the IRS. To avoid this, several laws protect these “innocent” spouses from having to pay the other spouse’s debts.

Do I Qualify For Innocent Spouse Relief?

The laws regarding innocent spouse relief are very complex. Initially, these laws were designed to protect spouses who could show no knowledge of mistakes or fraud attempts by their partners. Of course, proving this cannot be easy, particularly in cases where a business has joint ownership. Furthermore, several regulations regarding how long a spouse has to file for relief. The rules get more complex if the spouses are currently divorced or if one member of the marriage has passed.

Remember that even if you don’t qualify under the rules for innocent spouse relief, there may be other ways to protect yourself from the IRS. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to speak with the Enrolled Agents at Peace Of Mind Tax Help, who have experience with innocent spouse relief cases. We can help you to determine whether or not you qualify.

What Factors Can Determine If I Qualify For Relief?

Because laws regarding innocent spouse relief change frequently, it’s essential to consult with an Enrolled Agent before filing for this protection. Even if you qualify, the amount that you owe can be determined by several factors, including:

  • The amount of time that has passed. Typically innocent spouse relief can only be applicable for two years after the first collection attempt.
  • Your involvement with the business or entity that was subject to the audit. If you were a joint owner or had involvement with the business, it may be harder to prove that you were innocent.
  • The terms of your divorce agreement. If your divorce settlement stated who was responsible for paying back taxes, it could affect your eligibility and the total amount you owe.

The laws regarding innocent spouse relief and similar programs are complex and change frequently. Fortunately, a good tax resolution professional, such as Peace Of Mind Tax Help, can guide you through the process, including the submission of Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to help relieve you of IRS debts brought upon by the actions of your spouse. Because tax audits and collections can date back several years, working with an Enrolled Agent who is familiar with all versions of the tax law is essential.

Peace Of Mind Tax Help Innocent Spouse Relief Representation

One of your most important rights as a taxpayer is your right to have a qualified tax resolution professional, such as an Enrolled Agent (EA), represent you in front of the IRS and/or States and provide tax resolution for your IRS Innocent Spouse Relief request to ensure that it is done accurately and completely and to eliminate any unnecessary delays.

When you hire Peace Of Mind Tax Help to assist you with your Innocent Spouse Relief request, we will guide you through the process while advocating on your behalf and protecting your interests.

Peace Of Mind Tax Help is here to help you because when you’re dealing with unexpected tax debt due to your spouse’s actions, the worst thing you can do is do nothing at all. The best decision is to take the necessary first step and obtain some tax debt relief!

Click on the “Get Peace Of Mind” button at the top of the page to take that first step.