McFarlane Law

Your Tax Law Firm

Innocent Spouse Relief

What is an Innocent Spouse?

When husband and wife prepare, review and sign a joint tax return, there is a jurat by which the spouses swear that they have read and understand the tax return. Often times, a taxpayer pays to have their tax returns prepared. They then merely look at the first and second pages to see if they are getting a refund or owe money, and never consider each entry on every page of the return. In certain factual situations, or sometimes after a life changing event (such as a divorce or a death of one spouse), an innocent spouse or an injured spouse case may arise. A subsequent IRS review or audit may raise tax issues for which one spouse was totally unaware, and did not have a reason to be aware. Sometimes, under certain facts and circumstances, the unaware spouse may obtain relief from having to pay a part or any of a tax liability under IRS policies and procedures.

Obtaining Innocent Spouse Relief

The relief granted is always based on a comprehensive facts and circumstances analysis. It is always beneficial to consult with a qualified and experienced tax lawyer. Importantly, there is established case law and IRS written determinations that must be considered. In short, an innocent spouse request is not a path the lay taxpayer should meander along without knowledgeable and experienced tax counsel.

The process for obtaining relief is not quick. It begins by timely filing a request for innocent spouse relief, Form 8857. Your tax attorney can assist you in completing that form and the required packet of information. There are several other forms that must be completed, including an interview form that contains tricky questions. If these certain tricky questions are not completed correctly, the requesting spouse stands a good chance of being denied relief by the reviewing agent. Also, pursuant to recent revised statutes, the non-requesting spouse must be notified of the filed request and be given an opportunity to respond or object. Again, this may present an adversarial situation in which prior tax litigation counsel is recommended.

Ask McFARLANE LAW to handle tax your case

At McFARLANE LAW – A Tax Law Firm, we have the knowledge, experience, and all-important relationships to handle your innocent spouse or injured spouse case. We have years of experience in handling the many different fact-based innocent spouse scenarios. We have the important relationships with the Revenue Agents, Revenue Officers, Appeals Officers and District Counsel Attorneys (Office of Chief Counsel) to effectively and efficiently resolve your requests for innocent spouse relief or injured spouse claims.

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