Understanding relief for innocent spouses

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2021 | Tax Law

If you live in Arkansas and your spouse is having trouble with the IRS, you need to know about innocent spouse relief. The IRS understands that people sometimes make a mistake, or even abuse trust in a marriage. Although both spouses are technically responsible for everything on a joint return, it’s also more than clear that sometimes people lie and hide things from their spouses. Innocent spouse relief can make it possible for some people to avoid penalties, interest and additional tax.

How to get innocent spouse relief

Innocent spouse relief is not granted automatically. The victim must apply for relief with the IRS, and the process of getting approved can take months. It’s important to note that the IRS can also deny someone’s request. Tax law is complicated, and it’s very important to apply the right way. The IRS will want to see forms filled out properly, with no errors.

There are five major qualifiers someone must meet to get innocent spouse relief:

  • Generally, you must have filed jointly with your spouse or ex-spouse
  • You must show the other person is responsible for the discrepancy
  • Show that you are innocent as clearly as possible
  • The situation must be compelling to the IRS
  • You generally have just two years to file for innocent spouse relief

Will the other party know?

Yes, the IRS will notify your spouse or ex-spouse that you have filed for innocent spouse relief, as the agency is required by law to do this. Experts recommend calling a domestic violence hotline if this circumstance makes you feel like you could be in danger.