What is Innocent Spouse Protection?

IRS innocent spouse relief is a form of tax relief available to qualifying taxpayers. It provides full relief from tax burdens if you can demonstrate that your spouse or former spouse failed to report income or claimed fraudulent deductions without your knowledge.

There are three types of spousal tax relief:

Separation of Liability Relief

Separation of Liability Relief

The IRS divides the tax liability between you and your spouse, holding you responsible only for your portion.

Injured Spouse Relief

Injured Spouse Relief

If your refund is used to satisfy your spouse’s debt (e.g., child support), you may be eligible to recover your share through an injured spouse claim.

Equitable Relief

Equitable Relief

This option is sought when you don’t qualify for the other two types of relief. The IRS considers whether it would be unfair to hold you liable for your spouse’s tax debt.

To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet certain requirements:

Similar to other IRS tax relief initiatives, specific eligibility criteria must be met to avail the associated benefits. According to the IRS, you may be eligible for Innocent Spouse Relief if ALL of the following conditions apply to your situation:

  1. You filed a joint tax return for the relevant year(s).
  2. The tax liability resulted from erroneous items on your spouse’s part (e.g., unreported income or incorrect deductions).
  3. You can prove that you had no knowledge or involvement in the understated tax.
  4. Considering all circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you accountable for the tax debt.
  5. You and your spouse have not engaged in fraudulent property transfers to defraud the IRS.

When seeking innocent spouse relief, it is crucial to provide the IRS with sufficient and accurate information. Exaggerating or falsifying information can lead to penalties. The Tax Hardship Center, specifically Emerald Gain, can assist you by filing an IRS Innocent Spouse Relief request on your behalf, ensuring all necessary documents are precise and comprehensive to support your case.

Spouse Relief

Upon submission of the required forms and official request for relief, the IRS typically takes approximately six months to reach a decision on your case. During this period, the IRS will scrutinize your tax details and might communicate with the spouse or former spouse with whom you jointly filed a tax return.

Indeed, the IRS is legally obligated to communicate with your spouse or former spouse regarding any tax debts. However, under the provisions of Innocent Spouse Relief, you may potentially secure relief from the remaining balance.

In general, Form 8857 must be filed within a maximum of two years following the initial IRS collection attempt for the tax debt. However, certain exceptions exist, and it is advisable to seek guidance from tax experts who can provide assistance regarding the process and any relevant exceptions.

Regardless of your marital status, whether married, separated, or divorced, if the tax debt was incurred during your marriage and you filed a joint tax return, the IRS will deem you responsible for the debt. However, Innocent Spouse Relief offers an opportunity to obtain relief from the remaining balance, thereby absolving you of personal liability.

Choose Emerald Gain for Tax Assistance

When you find yourself in debt to the IRS, Emerald Gain is your trusted partner. With an impeccable A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and authorized business operations across all fifty states, we offer reliable and confident assistance. Our team of skilled tax professionals possesses extensive experience in resolving various tax issues and adeptly navigating interactions with the IRS on behalf of our clients.