Frank Sinatra used to sing that marriage was an institute you can’t disparage. But if you’re liable for your ex’s shady finances, you probably want to tell the Chairman to get out of the Boardroom. It’s a little thing called “Innocent Spouse.”
When the IRS holds you financially responsible because your wife under-reported her income, it’s not fun. Or because your husband made a mistake on your joint return. So the IRS made life a little bit easier for those seeking innocent spouse relief.
The old rule for innocent spouse relief was that you had just two years from the date the IRS began collection action to file for IRS form 8857. The IRS announced in late-July that they’re ditching that rule. This gives affected taxpayers greater time to file for certain innocent spouse requests.
Now, the two-year rule won’t apply toward new requests or those currently considered by the IRS. For a taxpayer whose request was denied solely due to the two-year limit, they get another chance to file form 8857.
If you do file for innocent spouse relief, you may be relieved of the responsibility for paying the taxes. This includes interest and penalties as a result of your spouse’s including fraudulent tax info in your joint returns. You’ll have to meet certain conditions, and a tax attorney can help guide you through the process.
Like marriage, your tax debt can turn out messy and complicated. When the IRS goes after you with a wage garnishment or bank levy because of something your spouse did, a tax attorney is a good choice to give you ‘High Hopes‘.
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