Innocent Spouse Relief is available for three distinct situations. Prior to trying to determine this yourself, you should have a Tax Professional determine every Tax Relief option available for you, as you might have a better option than Innocent Spouse. Any tax problem must be analyzed to determine the correct course of action, before any choice is made. The three basic innocent Spouse categories are the Original Innocent Spouse Relief, Relief by Separation of Liabilities, and Equitable Innocent Spouse Relief.
The Original Innocent Spouse Tax Relief is usually for an understatement of tax, while filing a joint tax return. If your spouse under reported income without your knowledge, and that can be shown on your tax return, you may qualify. Small errors, or simple math errors, or what might be called a normal tax return mistake, would not qualify.
Relief by Separation of Liability provides a tax relief for underpayment of tax. Only the amount you owe, will you be responsible for. This is only for amounts of tax not paid, not for applying for tax refunds. If you filed a joint return and are divorced or separated from, the spouse you incurred the tax debt with, and were not a member in the same household for a one year period, you may qualify.
Equitable Tax Relief, under Innocent Spouse provisions, allows you to solve your tax problem for a tax return that was filed correctly, as opposed to under reporting of income for the Original and Relief by Separation of Liability Innocent Spouse Provisions, but the entire tax amount was not paid. This is a more difficult innocent Spouse to get through, and should only be attempted with a qualified Tax Professional.
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