Innocent Spouse

When married, many couples file for a joint tax return in order to receive certain tax benefits.  Once this occurs, both individuals are responsible for their joint and individual taxes, even if a divorce occurs.

Once a joint tax return has been filed, both individuals are held liable for any tax, penalty or interest on that tax return.

However, a spouse can be relieved from this obligation by filing an Innocent Spouse Relief form.

To qualify, an individual must have filed a joint return that has an understatement of tax, which is the difference of the actual tax amount and the tax amount reported on the tax return, due to erroneous items and had no knowledge of the understatement of tax.  Erroneous items include deduction, credits and bases incorrectly stated on the tax return and any income not reported by your spouse.

In addition, an individual must have circumstances that made it unfair to hold spouse liable for understatement of tax and request relief within 2 years after the date that the IRS began first collection activity against you.

If an individual qualifies, then a Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief must be filed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with a letter and any other information to permit relief.  It may take up to six months for the IRS to grant relief.

For the Arizona Department of Revenue, Form 200 must be filed to receive Innocent Spouse Relief.  The department will then review form to determine the eligibility of the taxpayer.

Talking to a tax attorney once a tax return with an understatement of tax is received is crucial.  Otto Shill has had more than 25 years of working with taxpayers and working in complicated processes such as filing for Request for Innocent Spouse Relief.   He can review the process to receive Innocent Spouse Relief with you and help with filing (including writing and collecting any documents) needed for the IRS and Arizona Department of Revenue.

Call JacksonWhite at (480) 464-1111 to discuss your case today.

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