If you owe IRS back taxes as a result of filing a joint return with your spouse or former spouse (referred to as “spouse” in the remainder of this discussion), the IRS may grant you equitable relief from your joint tax liability.
If you want to apply for equitable relief as an innocent spouse you must complete and submit Form 8857 “Request for Innocent Spouse Relief” to the IRS. You must meet all of the following conditions to be eligible to file your request for IRS tax relief:
- You filed a joint return for the year you want tax relief
- You cannot obtain relief under another innocent spouse rule
- Time for submitting your request for relief has not expired
- There was no impermissible or fraudulent transfer of assets between you and your spouse
- You did not knowingly file a fraudulent return with your spouse
- You are seeking relief from a tax debt that was caused in whole or in part by an item of your spouse or an underpayment of tax created by income of your spouse
If you meet the above filing requirements and submit your request for equitable relief, the IRS will review all the facts and circumstances of your case.
Equitable Relief Factors
The following factors will be analyzed by the IRS when considering your request for tax relief:
- Marital Status at time of request
- Economic Hardship
- Awareness or reason to know of understatement or underpayment of tax
- Legal obligation to pay the tax pursuant to divorce or other agreement
- Receipt of significant benefits
- Subsequent compliance with tax obligations
- Health Status
You may present additional factors that you would like the IRS to consider in granting you relief from IRS back taxes. The findings of the IRS used to grant or deny equitable relief is not based on any one factor or even a majority of factors. This means that you may still be granted relief if the factors against granting relief outnumber the factors for relief, or you may be denied relief in cases where the factors for relief outnumber those against granting relief.
If you were the victim of abuse or your spouse controlled the family finances, these factors may provide sufficient weight for the IRS to grant you tax relief.
If the IRS is demanding payment from you of a joint tax debt that was caused by your spouse, you need to call the tax professionals at East Coast Tax Consulting Group for tax debt help. We will discuss your case with you and provide you with an honest assessment of your chances of IRS tax relief.