Tax Defense Network returns to its 12 Weeks of Resolutions and focuses on Innocent Spouse Relief.
When a married couple files a joint tax return, both individuals are responsible for the information on the return. This means that if there are any errors on the return and the tax obligation is understated, both spouses are equally responsible for any tax liability that results, even if they subsequently separate or divorce.
Innocent Spouse Relief is an IRS program in which one spouse can request not to be held liable for the tax debt resulting from an inaccurate jointly filed tax return. If the IRS grants that request, the entire tax liability would then fall on the spouse responsible for the tax debt.
“Innocent Spouse Relief is designed for people who had no way of knowing that their husband or wife was misreporting income or taking improper deductions or credits,” Kay Wolfson, Tax Defense Network’s Business Development Manager, explains. “Everyone is responsible for making sure their tax return is correct before they sign it, but there are circumstances in which a person would reasonably not know about an erroneous return.”
To qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief, the applicant must meet certain conditions set by the IRS. Their spouse must be entirely at fault for the inaccuracies on the tax return, and the applicant must show that they did not know, nor had reason to know, about those inaccuracies. The IRS does not consider willful ignorance or deliberately keeping unaware of the tax situation cause for granting Innocent Spouse Relief.
The applicant must further establish that it would be unfair to hold them responsible for the tax liability.
“The IRS takes a lot into consideration when a person applies for Innocent Spouse Relief,” Kay continues. “Their education level, their level of financial experience, their financial situation, their marital situation, whether or not they received significant benefit from the understated tax return, whether or not physical or emotional abuse is involved… They make sure they know whole story before coming to a decision.”
Thus, before granting Innocent Spouse Relief, the IRS must be convinced that the applicant is not responsible for the errors on the tax return and also had no way of knowing about the errors. It also acknowledges that it would be unfair to hold the applicant responsible for paying the tax debt.
Tax Defense Network is a Better Business Bureau A+ rated national tax debt relief company. Its team of licensed tax professionals, CPAs, and enrolled agents has over 35 years of combined experience resolving tax debt. To date, Tax Defense Network has helped almost 100,000 people with their tax problems.