Atlanta: How to Get Innocent Spouse Relief from IRS

By
Education & Training with Massey and Company CPA

 

 I often work with individuals seeking relief from a tax liability that arose from a joint return filed with their spouse or former spouse.

 

There are several forms of tax relief available to the requesting taxpayer.

 

Innocent Spouse Relief

  1. The tax liability is attributable to an erroneous item of the non-requesting spouse.
  2. The requesting taxpayer did not know and had no reason to know of the item giving rise to the understatement of tax.
  3. It is inequitable to hold the requesting taxpayer liable for the tax.
  4. The request must be made within two years of IRS collection activity beginning.

 

If Innocent Spouse Relief is granted, the tax liability will be allocated to each spouse based upon the taxable items, with the erroneous item attributable only to the non-requesting spouse.

 

Separation of Liability Relief

  1. The tax liability is attributable to an erroneous item of the non-requesting spouse.
  2. The requesting taxpayer did not know and had no reason to know of the item giving rise to the understatement of tax.
  3. The spouses are divorced or separated.
  4. The request must be made within two years of IRS collection activity beginning.

 

If Separation of Liability Relief is granted, the tax liability will be re-characterized so that each spouse is responsible only for their particular items of income. For many taxpayers, this type of relief provides the greatest benefit.

 

Equitable Relief

Equitable Relief is granted when it it determined to be inequitable to hold an individual liable for an unpaid tax that is the responsibility of the non-requesting spouse. This applies even if the tax was correctly reported on the return.

 

Indicators of inequality include economic hardship, physical or mental health, and abuse or control by the other spouse.

 

Financial Status

 

An important factor to stress when requesting one of the three forms of relief discussed above, when appropriate, is the requesting taxpayer's inability to afford to pay the tax. By demonstrating that the tax will in any event be uncollectible (if the facts support that conclusion), it is often easier to secure relief from IRS.

________________________________

 

If you have any questions about taxpayer relief, tax matters in divorce, IRS audits, installment agreements, offers in compromise, catching up on back taxes, QuickBooks, or other tax and accounting issues, feel free to contact us at 678-235-5460.

 

You may also contact us by email at gary.massey@masseyandcompanyCPA.com, or on our website.

 

Our offices are in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta and we welcome face to face visits.

 

Gary Massey, CPA

Massey and Company CPA

3550 Lenox Road NE, Suite 2100, Atlanta, GA 30326

www.masseyandcompanyCPA.com

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Gary Massey, CPA

Atlanta's Small Business CPA
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