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Innocent Spouse Relief May Get Faster… Or Maybe Not

TaxConnections Picture - Marriage CelebrationIRS provides updated guidance for equitable innocent spouse relief requests

RIA, a large Tax Publisher, reported on revisions to Innocent Spouse relief requests. It has been extremely difficult (if not practically impossible) for married couples still living together to have one spouse qualify under the “innocent spouse” relief provisions. Even in situations where one spouse has illegal earnings, or has a huge increase in tax due to a business audit, the IRS almost always rejects the Innocent Spouse claim. The main argument is the spouse “benefited” from the income and higher life style and therefore should have known of the misreported income or expenses.

In addition to the usual denial of relief, the extremely long time for the IRS to process the requests, makes it costly and annoying. Supposedly, there will be a “streamlined” request. Usually, when the IRS announces such “reforms” they really do not mean much for most taxpayers. In this case, I think this may
benefit taxpayers who are current in tax filings but can claim abuse or some other type of coercion. Short of that, I do not think this will do much. Read more