What is an IRS innocent spouse claim? Spouses left with joint back taxes resulting from financial neglect or other adverse actions by their current or ex-spouse may qualify for IRS relief under the Innocent Spouse program. Under this program, taxpayers are offered several types of tax relief; Equitable Relief, Relief by Separation of Liability, Innocent Spouse Relief, Injured Spouse Relief
Taxpayers who qualify for the innocent spouse program usually have their joint tax liability and penalties and interested partially or fully abated. In cases where full removal of the tax debt occurs, the innocent spouse is no longer responsible for the back taxes and any tax liens that may have been filed.
Form 8857 Request for Innocent Spouse Relief is used to file a claim with the IRS. The form must be completed in its entirety and include substantive documentation to prove that a taxpayer qualifies for relief as an innocent spouse. As part of the determination process, the IRS is legally required to contact the spouse (or ex-spouse) of the person filing the claim. In cases of spousal abuse or domestic violence, the IRS is still responsible for meeting this requirement. Taxpayers may find it helpful to seek assistance from a qualified tax professional due to the often sensitive and complicated nature of innocent spouse claims.
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