Are You An Innocent Spouse?
One of the worst parts about getting divorced — ranking right up there with custody of the kids and child support — is dealing with money owed to the IRS. Let’s face it — a lot of couples split because of money issues and paying taxes is sometimes right at the top of the list of money issues.
Your tax problems could have been caused by your ex — and if they were — there’s a chance that the IRS will take that into consideration to help you resolve your tax problems.
Fortunately, for many ex-spouses, the IRS understands that one spouse may be victimized by another when it comes to their tax filing and tax obligations, so the IRS has an “Innocent Spouse Rule” that might help you.
I know what you’re thinking: if that creep could cheat on me, the creep would cheat on their taxes, too.
YOUR TAX OBLIGATIONS WHEN MARRIED
Under the tax law, when a married couple files a joint return, both spouses are legally responsible for that return including the deductions claimed and the tax money that is owed. When you both sign that joint tax return, you’re both saying “this is our taxes.” Luckily, for “innocent spouses.” the IRS understands that there are situations where one spouse cannot be liable for errors — or false claims — made by the other spouse.
ALL KINDS OF FALSE CLAIMS
There are all kinds of false claims that one spouse might make on a joint tax return. There can be false claims about hiding income, and false claims about increasing business deductions. Yes, there are false claims made on taxes so one spouse can keep an extra-marital affair going.
HOW A TAX PROFESSIONAL HELPS THE INNOCENT SPOUSE
A tax professional can present your “innocent spouse case” to the IRS to help you resolve your own tax debt. While the IRS does recognize there are “innocent spouses” relief is granted to that innocent spouse on a case-by-case basis. This is why you need to consult with a tax professional. The examination by the IRS can be tough, and professional guidance including legal guidance is recommended. The IRS will want to know what the “innocent spouse” knew or didn’t know and why. You don’t want to go through this alone. It can be a tough line of questioning — almost like going through a second divorce. But it can be very worthwhile, especially when one spouse is cheating on business deductions and even on unpaid taxes withheld from employees.
WORRY ABOUT THE KIDS, NOT YOUR TAXES
A tax professional and a legal representative can properly represent you, and negotiate if necessary if you are an innocent spouse. With all the worry about the kids and your own future and getting back on your feet, you don’t need the headaches of an additional battle with the IRS for something you had no idea was going on.
INNOCENT SPOUSE RULE AND THE IRS FRESH START PROGRAM
Using the innocent spouse rule usually is part of using the IRS Fresh Start Program. Yes, you can try this on your own by talking to the IRS directly, but do you really want to? We offer a free consultation with a tax resolution specialist who can discuss with you the innocent spouse rule as well as the IRS Fresh Start Program and the IRS Offer In Compromise Program. It all starts with a free telephone consultation. This video tells you what to expect during that first phone call.
Here again is the direct phone number to call our senior tax resolution specialist Tom at our office: 949-359-0810
Or, you can call our general number on this page to reach any of our tax resolution experts about the IRS Fresh Start Initiative or the IRS Offer In Compromise.