innocent spouse

INNOCENT SPOUSE

You are eligible to be released from tax obligations if your spouse or ex-spouse improperly filed his/her taxes. The following are some possible conditions where you may qualify for innocent spouse relief.

  1. You filed a joint return which has an understatement of tax due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). Erroneous items could either be Unreported Income, Incorrect deduction, credit or basis.

  2. You establish that at the time you signed the joint return you did not know, and had no reason to know that there was an understatement of tax.

  3. Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax.

The following are examples of factors the IRS will consider.

  • Whether you received a significant benefit (defined next), either directly or indirectly, from the understatement.
  • Whether your spouse (or former spouse) deserted you.
  • Whether you and your spouse have been divorced or separated.
  • Whether you received a benefit on the return from the understatement.

Claim must be filed no later than 2 years from the date IRS first attempted to collect the tax from you.