INNOCENT SPOUSE RELIEF
If you are unjustly being held responsible for back taxes because of something your spouse did (or did not do), then you should explore whether innocent spouse relief is right for you. When you file a Married Filing Jointly tax return (or your spouse fraudulently files a joint return for you), there are important tax implications. Most importantly, a joint return creates “joint and several” liability; meaning, the IRS can collect the money from either party or both simultaneously. Importantly, if your spouse is unable to pay anything, the IRS will start collecting the entire amount owed from you. However, if you qualify for innocent spouse relief, you can keep the IRS off your back and protect your wages and bank account.
STOP COLLECTIONS NOW
When you receive tax bills/notices from the IRS, your case is likely in the Automated Collection System (ACS). After the required notices are given, you are subject to enforced collections (levies, wage garnishment, etc.). Your place in the notification process will determine the appropriate next steps. At Spaulding Legal, APC we analyze where your case is in the collections process before finalizing a strategy moving forward. If you are subject to collections, we immediately establish representation and speak with the IRS to advocate for a collection hold, giving us a few days to prepare and submit the innocent spouse request. Once submitted, the IRS is typically barred from collecting on the year(s) in question until a final decision is made.
PREPARE YOUR CASE
After making sure you are protected from collections, the next step is to prepare your case. In preparing any request for innocent spouse relief, it is important to know the specific types of relief available.
- Innocent spouse relief
- Separation of liability relief
- Equitable relief
- Relief from liability for tax attributable to an item of community income
The IRS request form is setup like a questionnaire. Each of the questions goes to a specific element of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 6015. If you answer the question incorrectly or without fully understanding what it is asking you – the IRS will likely deny any relief.
At Spaulding Legal, APC we have experience successfully negotiating innocent spouse relief with the IRS. The key to success is preparation and understanding. We take the time to understand your unique situation to develop and prepare the strongest argument for relief, which can protect you from unjustly paying your spouse’s tax debt.