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Innocent Spouse Relief and Taxes

Innocent Spouse Relief and Taxes

Innocent Spouse Relief and Taxes

March 21, 2023

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Innocent Spouse Relief and Taxes

March 21, 2023

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Securing Innocent Spouse Relief: Navigating Taxes After Divorce

Divorce brings about a myriad of challenges, especially when it comes to untangling the intertwined financial lives of the spouses. Among these challenges, navigating the complexities of tax liabilities can be particularly daunting. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to handle the majority of the financial responsibilities during the marriage, including tax filings. This dynamic can lead to situations where the other spouse is unaware of the intricacies of their joint tax returns, potentially leaving them vulnerable to issues with the IRS post-divorce.

Understanding the concept of Innocent Spouse Relief is crucial for anyone facing such a predicament. This blog post dives into the essentials of Innocent Spouse Relief, providing clarity and guidance for those navigating the post-divorce tax landscape.

What is Innocent Spouse Relief?

Innocent Spouse Relief is a provision under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6015, offering protection to individuals who filed joint tax returns without being aware of inaccuracies caused by their spouse. This relief is designed to shield innocent spouses from being held liable for tax debts resulting from errors, omissions, or fraudulent activities on joint tax returns by their partner.

Qualifying for Innocent Spouse Relief

To be eligible for Innocent Spouse Relief, you must meet specific criteria outlined by the IRS:

  1. Understatement of Tax: There must be a significant understatement of tax due on the joint return.
  2. Erroneous Items: The understatement is due to incorrect items attributable to your spouse, such as unreported income or incorrect deductions/credits.
  3. Lack of Knowledge: At the time you signed the joint return, you were not aware, nor had any reason to be aware, of the understatement.
  4. Unfair to Hold Liable: Considering all facts and circumstances, it would be unjust to hold the innocent spouse liable for the understatement.
  5. Timely Filing: The innocent spouse must request relief within two years from the date the IRS initiated collection activities.

The Impact of Divorce Agreements

It’s important to note that having a clause in your divorce decree stating that your spouse will indemnify you against tax liabilities does not prevent the IRS from pursuing you for joint tax debts. Such clauses are agreements between the divorcing parties and do not bind the IRS. Thus, securing Innocent Spouse Relief directly from the IRS is crucial.

Why Innocent Spouse Relief Matters

Innocent Spouse Relief is a vital safeguard for individuals who find themselves at risk of being held responsible for tax liabilities incurred through no fault of their own. It acknowledges that in the realm of joint tax filings, one spouse may not have full knowledge or control over the reported information.

Seeking Expert Guidance

Navigating the requirements for Innocent Spouse Relief and understanding your tax obligations amidst a divorce can be overwhelming. Johnson Turner Legal has a wealth of experience in assisting clients through the complexities of tax and divorce law. Our team is committed to providing the knowledge and support necessary to explore all available options, including Innocent Spouse Relief.

Take the Next Step

If you’re facing potential tax liabilities due to errors on joint tax returns filed with your former spouse, you don’t have to navigate this challenge alone. Contact Johnson Turner Legal at (320) 299-4249 to schedule a consultation. We’re here to empower you with the information and representation you need to secure a fair outcome. Our commitment to clarity, compassion, and effective legal guidance is unwavering, ensuring you’re supported every step of the way through your post-divorce transition.


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