When the Debt Isn’t Yours: IRS Innocent Spouse Relief


Did you know that married couples in America pay a whopping 74% of the country’s income taxes? That’s a pretty hefty share of the burden considering the marriage rate is falling in the US.

If you’re married, then you and your spouse likely file taxes together. At times, that can be beneficial. At other times, it can cost you.

If you unjustly owe a tax debt due to your spouse’s actions, then you may qualify for tax debt relief. This assistance would come in the form of innocent spouse relief.

Are you currently considering applying for this type of financial aid from the IRS? Read on to learn everything you need to know about innocent spouse relief and how to apply.

What is Innocent Spouse Relief?

So, what exactly is innocent spouse relief? To understand what it is, you first need to understand your taxes. Does your spouse usually file for you? If so, then there’s a great chance that they’ve filed things you have no clue about.

Sometimes, one spouse will file an incorrect credit or deduction. They could also underreport their income or yours. The bad news is that you could get held liable for your spouse’s mistake. This holds true even if you later get divorced.

Innocent spouse relief can prevent you from suffering that fate. It separates liability between you and your spouse or former spouse.

Who is Eligible for Innocent Spouse Relief?

To be eligible for this type of relief, you must meet all the following:

  • The error or understatement is attributable to your spouse
  • You didn’t know about the error when you signed the return
  • It’s unfair to hold you liable

On top of this, your tax debt must be less than two years old.

How to Apply

Do you feel your situation meets the requirements above? If so, then you may decide to apply for innocent spouse relief and clear your name of past debt.

Before you get startre4d, we recommend hiring a tax attorney. While it’s not necessary to do so, a lawyer can help ensure that you’re informed on your best course of action. They can also help you file all the right paperwork and avoid penalties when possible.

If you’d rather DIY, then that’s okay, too. You’ll need to fill out Form 8857. Send any other information along with this form. The IRS will get in touch with you about your letter as soon as they can.

Break Free From Tax Debt in 2022

Facing significant tax debt bills can feel intimidating. This is especially true if you know you can’t pay off your debts. What’s even worse is knowing you don’t deserve to owe the debts attached to your name!

If your spouse caused the debt, then you might be eligible to apply for innocent spouse relief. If approved, you’ll get relieved of the debt. Your spouse will still be on the hook, though.

Do you have even more pressing legal questions and concerns? If so, then you know you’re on the best blog to increase your knowledge. Keep browsing through our blog now to see more of our best content.

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