As discussed in earlier blogs, while Married Filing Joint filing status (MFJ) is popular for married taxpayers because it often results in a lower tax liability, another consequence of filing MFJ, is that each spouse is jointly and severally liable for the taxes due on a joint return, regardless of who earned the income, and the IRS can collect from both spouses. In some situations, this can result in an inequitable tax liability for an “Innocent Spouse”.
In these circumstances, the “Innocent Spouse” taxpayer may qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief for all or a part of the tax liability. We often help taxpayers who come to our Richardson TX Tax office with this problem.
IRC 6015 Creates 3 types of Innocent Spouse Relief:
- 6015(b) – Innocent Spouse Relief
- 6015(c) – Separation of Liability
- 6015(f) – Equitable Relief
Today we will cover Innocent Spouse Relief under IRC Section 6015(c) – Separation of Liability
What is Needed to Qualify for 6015(c)
IRC 6015(c) relief qualifications include:
- Must be divorced or legally separated for at least 12 months.
- No actual knowledge of the understatement of the item giving rise to the liability.
- Must request relief within 2 years of when collection activity began
What is the Impact of Qualifying under 6015(c)
Under Separation of Liability – IRC Section 6015(c):
- The “Innocent Spouse” is treated as if they filed MFS. The “Innocent Spouse” may do better under 6015(c) depending on their level of income.
- There are no refunds available.
Do You Need Help?
Do you believe that you may qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief or have an IRS Collection issue that you need help with? If so, we’d be happy to talk with you. Please give me a call at (972) 821-1991 or email me at bob@jablonskyandassociates.