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IRS Innocent Spouse Rule

IRS Innocent Spouse Rule

The IRS estimates that there is a tax gap of $441,000,000,000. As a result, they are consistently trying to find people that lie on their tax forms.

Are you worried that your spouse included false or incorrect information on your joint tax return? If so, you may end up in hot water with the IRS.

Luckily, you can see if you're eligible for the IRS innocent spouse rule and potentially avoid those penalties.

Keep reading to learn more about innocent spouse relief and what you should do to apply.

What Is the IRS Innocent Spouse Rule?

This is a type of relief available to spouses that are being held responsible for tax errors completed by their spouse or ex-spouse.

It is a procedure that will allow people to avoid paying extra taxes or interest if their spouse didn't report income or claimed deductions falsely.

You must be willing to prove that you did not know the return was falsified when you signed it and that you had no reason to know that the document was incorrect.

Who Qualifies for This?

It is possible for someone to be denied innocent spouse relief, so you need to know what you're doing before you get started. The process can take as long as half a year.

There are five main factors to consider to determine if you're eligible:

  • You file taxes jointly
  • The other person is responsible solely for the error
  • You can prove that you're innocent
  • The circumstances are compelling (convincing of truth)
  • You request relief within two years of the IRS attempting tax collection (generally)

Consult with your tax attorney to learn more about the rules behind this relief and what you should do now to prepare for the procedure.

How Do You Submit a Claim?

If you need to request relief, you can file Form 8857 with the IRS. This form is the request for innocent spouse relief, and it is the official document that you need to complete to be eligible upon meeting the other requirements. You can include a letter with the form if you feel it is necessary to further explain your situation.

The good news is that even if you need relief for a while, one form will cover more than a single year. You only need to submit one form at a time.

When Is the Best Time to Request an Innocent Spouse Form?

When you find out that you may be held liable for taxes that are your spouse's responsibility, you should file Form 8857 right away. The innocent spouse rule only will apply to you if you file the form within 2 years of the IRS first attempting to collect the tax. In some cases, there are exceptions for different deadlines that might apply.

If you have questions regarding your claim or how to complete the form, you can contact the toll-free number 1-855-851-2009.

Request Innocent Spouse Relief When You Need It

The IRS innocent spouse rule is meant to protect spouses from the errors of their partners by providing an opportunity to prove innocence. Since the taxes and penalties applied to someone that misrepresents tax returns can be quite large, it's a good idea to take advantage of this rule as soon as you can if you think you may be implicated.

If you found this information useful, take a moment to look at some of our other legal articles today.


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