The innocent spouse rule is a provision of US tax law, which states that one spouse can get relief from penalties of tax underpayment by the other spouse. This rule was revised in the year 1998 and was mainly done for partners who were not telling the entire truth of their financial situation to each other.
Many married couples do file a joint tax return, which includes joint and several liabilities for any debts pending to be paid relating to that return. This means whenever the IRS performs a tax audit and finds that the couple needs to pay some taxes for some issues on their joint tax return, then both spouses need to pay that amount.
But many times, it is possible to get this innocent spouse tax relief, and below is the eligibility for your understanding:
It is possible to get some relief for the spouse in situations where they have paid their income taxes or self-employment taxes based on the incorrect information given in the joint tax return. One of the spouses needs to show that the errors were only made by their current or former spouse and you had no idea about it while signing for the joint tax return.
So, a spouse can get some innocent tax relief in cases of:
- Unreported or misreported income
- Claim did for improper tax deductions
In such a case, the spouse can apply for tax relief by filing for IRS form 8857. So if the taxpayers are no longer spouses currently, then they can apply for separate election liability. This provision can be an advantage for you, but this is only applicable if you both are separated either by divorce or by death.
If you are in such a situation with your ex-spouse then you might want to understand your options. In this case, you can contact the best tax relief professional for proper guidance.