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3 Things to Know Before You Request Innocent Spouse Relief

Innocent Spouse Relief

You may be able to eliminate some or all of your marital tax debt by requesting innocent spouse relief.  If you think you may qualify, contact a tax attorney right away to discuss your case.

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Key Insights We Will Discuss:

  1.  You have a limited time to request relief
  2.  You may request relief from understated and underpaid taxes
  3.  You can appeal a denial of Innocent Spouse Relief

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You Have a Limited Time to Request Relief

Traditional innocent spouse relief requires that an erroneous item on your tax return is solely attributable to your spouse or former spouse.  Separation of liability relief may apply if you are divorced, separated, or widowed.

In either case, you have only two years to request relief.  The period begins when the IRS first attempts to collect the tax from you.  If you miss the deadline, you may lose your opportunity to receive innocent spouse relief.

You May Request Relief From Understated and Underpaid Taxes

Traditional relief and separation of liability relief can only be used to request relief from understated tax.  If your tax liability was properly reported on your return, you generally can’t use either of these two types of innocent spouse relief.

Equitable relief can be used for both understated and underpaid taxes.  You also have up to ten years to request this type of relief, making it much more flexible than the other types of innocent spouse relief.  Equitable relief can also be used to request a refund or credit in some cases.

You Can Appeal a Denial of Innocent Spouse Relief

Once you receive a final determination letter from the IRS, you can petition the U.S. tax court if you want to appeal the decision.  You have only 90 days to file your petition once you receive the final determination letter. You can generally avoid paying the disputed tax until after the Tax Court has heard your case.

Contact an Attorney

Get help with IRS innocent spouse relief by calling Ayar Law at 800-571-7175 to get free, no-obligation tax advice from a tax attorney.

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Executive Summary:

  • There are strict deadlines for requesting innocent spouse relief.
  • You may request relief from both understated and underpaid taxes if you are claiming equitable relief.
  • You can appeal a denial of your innocent spouse relief request
  • Contact Ayar Law for help at 800-571-7175.  We offer free, no-obligation tax advice.

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Venar Ayar, Esq.

Venar Ayar, Esq.

Attorney-at-Law, Master of Laws in Taxation
Principal and founder, Ayar Law

Venar is an award-winning tax attorney ranked as a Top Lawyer in the field of Tax Law. Mr. Ayar has a Master of Laws in Taxation – the highest degree available in tax, held by only a small number of the country’s attorneys.