Innocent Spouse Relief—NYC, New York
You May Qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief If Your Partner Under-Reports Tax (Without Your Knowledge)
Innocent Spouse Relief is an option provided to you by the IRS when your spouse failed to report, under-reported income, or made an improper deduction claim on your joint tax return without your knowledge. This relief option ensures that you are personally not held liable for a tax issue that was created solely by your partner without your knowledge or participation.
Many married couples that live together find that the sensible and easiest option when filing taxes is to file jointly. This is largely due to the benefit of tax credits and deductions you both will receive which ultimately lowers your tax bill comes the end of the year. By filing jointly, this system makes both you and your spouse responsible for any tax bills that arise and any penalties or interest charges that rack up from not paying your tax bill.
In addition to tax bills, both individual taxpayers are equally responsible during a tax audit for any additional tax liabilities that arise in the process. This is even the case when one partner earns all the income. While the tax solely is attributed to the income-earning spouse, both individuals are still held responsible for any tax liabilities that arise.
This is even still the case after a divorce, no matter what the divorce decree states. If you file for a divorce or complete the divorce process and are legally separated and the divorce decree states who is responsible for the tax bill, the IRS will still collect against both parties. Unfortunately, many instances of divorce and tax liability will have to be taken to civil court to file a claim against them.
Many modern marriages have their own roles in the day-to-day living and it’s not uncommon for one spouse to handle the finances and taxes while the other spouse is completely out of the loop or unaware of any problems or concerns that arise. That is, until the day they are served with a federal tax lien. This is where Innocent Spouse Relief comes in.
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Qualifying for Innocent Spouse Relief
Just like any legal process, there is a statute of limitations of how long you have to file for relief. You must file your request for relief within two years of the first collection date sent from the IRS. There are a few other requirements you must also meet:
- Your joint filed tax return had an understatement of tax that is solely attributable to your spouse’s under-reporting or failing to report income or claimed an improper deduction on your tax return.
- You establish and verify that at the time you signed the joint tax return filing that you were unaware, did not know, or had no reason to know that there was an understatement of income or improper deduction applied.
- You provide legitimate proof, considering all facts and circumstances, validating that it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax and thus the associated charges, fees, or penalties.
Once you have filed for relief, your partner or ex-spouse will be notified by the IRS and allowed to provide further information about your claim. During this process, the IRS ensures the protection of your privacy while handling this claim.
Keep in mind, you cannot be granted Innocent Spouse Relief if you signed and filed a joint tax return acknowledging that you had a balance due that was not paid yet. Even if the income resulting in a balance due solely belongs to your spouse, you are both responsible when filing a joint tax return. If you knowingly sign a joint tax return that states a balance due, you and your spouse are responsible for paying that amount plus interest and penalties. If, however, you signed and filed a joint tax return, with or without a balance due, and the IRS determines that there is a deficiency that stems solely from your spouse or ex-spouse, you may still qualify for relief.
Seek Professional Help When Filing for Relief
Between all the forms and red tape involved in filing for Innocent Spouse Relief, we highly recommend you seek help from the best tax experts available, True Resolve Tax Professionals. These tricky waters can often lead to an innocent spouse becoming responsible for the debt they did not knowingly incur and that’s the thing we want to happen to you. At True Resolve, we have the professional expertise and years of knowledge on our side to understand and navigate the complex IRS policies that surround Innocent Spouse Relief. We are licensed to directly work with the IRS on your behalf and resolve any unjust tax liabilities that have fallen on your shoulders.