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The IRS can sometimes hold you responsible for a tax debt that your spouse or ex-spouse incurred. If your spouse's actions caused the tax problem and you were not involved in them, you may be eligible for Innocent Spouse Relief. You can request this tax resolution by completing IRS Form 8857 and have the tax debt and penalties removed.


What qualifies for Innocent Spouse Relief? Several situations qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief. These include:

  • Filing a joint tax return while being married

  • Your spouse incorrectly reported income on your joint tax return

  • You were not aware of the incorrect income reporting when you signed the joint tax return


If you meet one of these situations, the IRS may grant you Innocent Spouse Relief, as it would be unfair to hold you liable for the unpaid taxes.


Three Types of Innocent Spouse Relief Innocent Spouse Relief is categorized into three main types, including:

  1. Innocent Spouse Relief This traditional relief means you are not responsible for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse made an error on your tax return without your knowledge.

  2. Relief by Separation of Liability This type of relief provides partial relief, dividing the understatement of tax, including interest and penalties, between you and your spouse.

  3. Equitable Relief If you do not qualify for the other two types of relief, Equitable Relief may still be an option. The IRS will consider more factors, such as economic hardship or spousal abuse, to determine whether it is unfair to hold one spouse liable for the tax, interest, and penalties.


Should you include a Letter with Innocent Spouse Relief Form 8857? You may include a letter with your form to provide any additional information you would like the IRS to consider.

When should you file the Innocent Spouse Relief Form 8857? File Form 8857 as soon as you become aware of a tax liability related to your spouse. The IRS may send you a notice or examine your tax return, proposing an increase in your tax liability.


Get Innocent Spouse Relief Assistance Low Cost Tax Relief offers professional tax resolution services to assist you in any tax situation. If you need help with Innocent Spouse Relief, contact one of our experts today.

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