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Innocent And Injured Spouses – Part 1

Spouses being held liable for their partner’s tax liabilities have given rise to two separate and unique types of relief by legislation and the IRS. These are often confused and misunderstood. We will define both Innocent and Injured Spouses, determine how to qualify for the different types of relief, discuss timing options, and review recent legislation and court cases.

When a couple files a joint tax return they are agreeing that everything on that tax return is true and they are responsible for everything on the return. This is known as joint and several liability, (§ Cod. Sec. 6013(d)(3)) which means that both parties are totally responsible for all of the tax liability on the return both together and separately.

Innocent Spouse

Traditionally, an Innocent Spouse is someone who meets all of the following qualifications under Cod. Sec. 6015(b):

1. The tax return in question must have been a joint return
2. An understatement of tax resulted from erroneous tax items attributable to the non-requesting spouse
3. The requesting spouse did not know or have reason to know of the understatement when the return was signed (T.C. Memo 2009-137)
4. The requesting spouse did not substantially benefit from the understatement
5. The requesting spouse makes the request not later than 2 years after the date collection activities began

Next up, two more kinds of Innocent Spouse treatment.

In accordance with Circular 230 Disclosure


Anything and everything taxes. I also write the Louisiana State book to go to our new Income Tax Course learners and the state-wide training for upper level Tax Professionals. I am an Instructor of all levels of tax related classes. I love to teach and write as well as taking the absolute best care of my clients all year round.

26 years in Law Enforcement (13 in the Air Force and 13 at the Bossier City PD), 20 years doing income taxes professionally.
My goals now are to spend many years being my 3 grandchildren’s MeeMaw, taking the absolute best care of my clients, and continually learning new things.
Taxes! I specialize in military, states, small business, and rentals.
The postings made on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent HR Block’s positions, strategies or opinions.

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