"You don't want to fight this fight alone. You need experts. You need Tax Resolution Services, Co. If you owe $20,000 or more in back taxes, are under audit, or have unfiled returns, they can help." - Rush Limbaugh
Tax Relief for Innocent Spouses:
Frequently Asked Questions for Resolving IRS Back Taxes
What is the first step I need to take to obtain Innocent Spouse Tax Relief?
You will need to file Form 8857, a Request for Innocent Spouse Relief with the Internal Revenue Service. Once you file for an Innocent Spouse Claim, the IRS will send you a questionnaire for the purpose of verifying the validity of your story.
It's a good idea to consult with an experienced tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist to help you through the process of sharing your financial information in innocent spouse cases as well as help you craft any additional letters or documentation that will bolster your case.
Once everything is filed, it may take as long as six months for the IRS to contact your former spouse, review the evidence, and render a decision.
Can I file for innocent spouse tax relief without informing my former spouse?
Unfortunately, there is no way to seek innocent spouse tax relief and circumvent a former spouse. In this case, former spouse is defined as officially divorced, legally separated, widowed, or living in a separate household for a 12-month period with no expectation of their return.
The IRS is bound by law to inform the other party of the proceedings, regardless of your history with him or her, or the reasons behind the divorce.
Some victims of domestic violence choose an Offer in Compromise Doubt as to Liability process instead of an innocent spouse defense for resolving their back taxes. Ask your tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist about all of your options so you can choose the path that is best for you.
My former spouse has already filed a Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. Can I file one, too?
Yes, both spouses may file for innocent spouse relief for the same year's tax liability.
Am I liable for my spouse's Automated Underreporter Notice or CP 2000 Notice?
If you filed a joint tax return, even if a divorce decree states that one spouse is responsible for amounts due on a previously filed joint return, the IRS holds both parties responsible for the tax, interest, and penalty due.
Your tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist can help determine if you are eligible for a measure that will relieve you of this responsibility.
How do I know if I qualify for innocent spouse relief?
You will need to prove to the IRS that you meet all of the following criteria to qualify for tax relief:
If the IRS has already accepted my Offer in Compromise, can I still apply for innocent spouse tax relief?
Once your Offer in Compromise tax settlement has been accepted for a certain tax year, that closes the books on it.
Can I apply for innocent spouse tax relief after signing a Closing Agreement?
The answer varies with the type of agreement. (This highlights why it is vital to have a tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist negotiate with the IRS on your behalf to make sure you understand clearly what you are committing yourself to.)
The IRS has threatened to levy my bank account. Can I still request innocent spouse relief?
As soon as the IRS receives the Form 8857 from your tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist, they will cease all collection efforts until the matter is resolved. The only exception is if the collections statute of limitations is about to expire.
If I am paying an installment agreement on a joint return, can I still apply for innocent spouse relief?
Your tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist can help you determine if your circumstances might qualify you for innocent spouse tax relief, but don't stop making payments to the IRS until the matter gets sorted out. You do not want to default on the installment agreement. If your petition is denied you will be liable for the full amount immediately.
My first claim for innocent spouse tax relief was rejected, but I have new information. Can I re-file?
You may file a subsequent claim with the new information, but you will not have tax court rights.
These questions are just a starting point for innocent spouses seeking tax relief. However, they will empower you to have an informed discussion with your tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist, who can help you move forward and resolve any back taxes and IRS problems related to your spouse (or former spouse).
Need help qualifying for Innocent Spouse tax relief? Get help from our team of experienced tax attorneys and specialized tax resolution specialists. Call us today toll free at 1-866-IRS-PROBLEMS for your FREE CONSULTATION.
For more information about innocent spouse tax relief, check out these resources: