How do I get Innocent Spouse Relief from my joint tax returns?

The IRS has recently made updates to its Innocent Spouse rules. Now more taxpayers will be considered to receive Innocent Spouse Relief from their joint tax returns. When a married couple files a joint tax return they are both responsible for all taxes. In some instances one of the partners misrepresents their tax situation. This misrepresentation causes a tax debt for both parties. The debt could have occurred due to not reporting income, misrepresentation of key facts, under reporting, or under paying. Often time’s finances and marriage are difficult. For whatever reason one spouse neglects to inform the other about tax debt, and now the innocent party is on the hook. Well that’s not always the case. There is help out there. If there was a misrepresentation on your joint tax return that you were unaware of, you may be eligible for relief through an Innocent Spouse Program.


You must have filed a joint tax return. Your spouse or spouse at the time improperly reported income on your joint return. You signed the return but were unaware the return was incorrect or misleading. Now the IRS is taking your refunds to satisfy your spouse’s past due tax, child support, or student loan


Generally you may only be able to claim innocent spouse for two years after the last collection activity. This is why it is extremely important to act quickly after you become aware of the fraud or misrepresentation. Some cases have a longer statute and must be reviewed further.


You should contact an experienced tax attorney to find out if you are eligible for Innocent Spouse Relief. They can help you in prequalification, preparing the Form 8857, and completing appropriate letters and appeals.


S.H. Block provides a no cost consultation, at that time we will determine the likelihood of perusing a spousal relief case. Once retained we will review your case for all applicable relief measures. Upon completion of our investigation and prequalification we will file the appropriate forms with IRS and State Agencies to apply for spousal relief. Once submitted our firm will monitor your case through to completion.

 The Bottom Line:

Even if you don’t meet the requirements for an innocent spouse there may be other relief programs you will fall under. Don’t get discouraged and give up the right to your refunds. Our firm can help apply for Separation of Liability, Equitable Relief, and Injured Spouse. But don’t wait to speak to an attorney, in this matter timing is crucial.

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