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Innocent spouse

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Will I Pay My Spouse’s Unpaid Taxes?

The short answer is no. Your exemption from paying these additional taxes is provided by the IRS’s Innocent Spouse Relief. However, this does not exclude you from paying individual joint responsibility payments, household employment taxes, company taxes, or other taxes.

Innocent Spouse Relief (ISR) is a clause in U.S. tax law that, according to the most recent revision in 1998, enables a spouse to apply for relief from fines associated with a spouse’s failure to pay taxes. This was developed as a result of spouses not being completely honest with their partners about their unsettled finances.

How do I Qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief?

The innocent spouse rule enables a taxpayer to evade a tax liability brought on by a spouse’s mistakes on a joint return. The error most frequently entails unreported income or an exaggerated deduction. The following requirements must also be met:

  1. They have submitted a combined return with an incorrect underestimate of tax liability pertaining to their spouse specifically.
  2. They are unaware of the mistake or error.
  3. The IRS must decide that it is appropriate to absolve the taxpayer of the relevant tax after the error has been found.
  4. Within two years of the IRS starting a collection, the taxpayer must submit a relief application.

Quick Fact

Here are some general examples of situations where innocent spouse relief may not apply:

  1. Knowledge of Understatement.
  2. Significant Benefit.
  3. Transfer of Assets.
  4. Fraudulent Transfers.
  5. Collaboration in Tax Evasion.
  6. Prior Knowledge of Spouse’s History.

You or someone you know may need help filing for Innocent Spouse Relief. Learn more with us at Priority Tax Relief and call 800-493-8308 for a FREE consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions: Innocent Spouse

It depends on the specific circumstances. Innocent Spouse Relief can be denied if the innocent spouse significantly benefited from the understated income or assets involved in the tax debt. The tax authority will consider factors such as lifestyle, use of funds, and financial benefit derived from the unreported income.

Yes, you can apply for Innocent Spouse Relief even if you are still married to the spouse who caused the tax debt. The tax authority considers the circumstances at the time the joint return was filed, regardless of the current marital status.

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