What happens when two people who were married and filed a joint return during the time they were together end up getting a divorce and one of the people in the relationship didn’t report all of their income? Many times, the IRS will come after both spouses. But what happens if the innocent person didn’t know anything about it? They could be facing back taxes plus penalties and interest. If they signed the joint tax return, they could be facing wage garnishment or even stiffer penalties.
Luckily, there are exceptions to these circumstances, which falls under the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act. Essentially, the Act altered the tax code to make “innocent spouse relief” easier and more fair. For many, the IRS Innocent Spouse Rule may provide a solution. With the Innocent Spouse rules passed in 1998, you can qualify for “general liability relief”, “allocated liability relief” or “equitable relief” if you fail to qualify for one of the first two types. However, you should be aware that even with the passage of the Act, spousal relief isn’t always granted.
Steps to take if you are an Innocent Spouse
If for whatever reason, you suspect that your tax return may be wrong, don’t sign the joint tax return! File separately if you think your spouse falls into this category. Filing this way will result in a higher tax liability, but could save a lot of pain and aggravation later on.
At Tenina Law, Inc., we have the knowledge and the experience necessary to assist you with your individual innocent spouse tax situation. Dealing with tax problems like these can be one of the stressful and problematic events of anyone’s life . you need to have a tax attorney who specializes in tax law to get rid of the IRS problems.