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If the IRS comes after you due to the activities of a spouse and you did not know about nor did you have any role in the activities, you may be eligible for Innocent Spouse Relief. There are three types of relief available from a joint tax return liability: innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, and equitable relief.

  • Innocent Spouse Relief- provides relief from a tax liability if your current or previous spouse did not report income, falsely reported income, or declared incorrect deductions or credits
  • Separation of Liability Relief- separates the portion of tax liability between you and your previous spouse, or your current spouse that you're legally separated from or not living with, when information was reported incorrectly on a joint tax return. You're then liable for the amount of tax portioned to you
  • Equitable Relief- if you don't qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, you may qualify for equitable relief for something incorrectly reported on a joint tax return and largely associated to your spouse. You may also qualify if tax reported on your joint return is correct but was not paid with the tax return

If you are experiencing consequences of a spouse’s tax activities and you were not involved, use the IRS Form 8857 to request innocent spouse relief. Through this form of tax resolution, you may be able to have the tax debt and penalties removed or have your portion of the tax liability decreased. If you’d like assistance with the innocent spouse process, our team of knowledgeable, trusted tax professionals are here to help.

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