The majority of married couples file their taxes jointly because their finances are commingled and because there are tax benefits to doing so. This usually works out fine for all parties involved. However, if one spouse either makes a mistake or knowingly provides false information on their taxes, both parties are liable when filing jointly.
This liability doesn’t change even if you don’t stay married. If you were married at the time that the erroneous joint return was filed, you are both on the hook for any taxes, interest, and penalties due to the IRS.
However, there is a silver lining! If you can prove that you didn’t know about the error or misinformation, you may qualify for “innocent spouse relief.” This is exactly what it sounds like—if the IRS determines that you are innocent of wrongdoing, you will be relieved, in their eyes, of the corresponding financial responsibility.
In order to qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must:
- Prove that you didn’t know (and had no reason to know) of any error or falsified information on a jointly filed tax return.
- Establish that it would be unfair for the IRS to hold you responsible for taxes, interest, or penalties incurred when you had no knowledge of the error or wrongdoing.
If you’re facing tax issues based on a situation caused by your spouse (or former spouse), call the experts at Pro Tax Resolution today. We can help guide you through the process of filing the appropriate forms and gathering the evidence necessary to establish your status as an innocent spouse. With more than 40 years of experience as tax resolution experts, we have the knowledge you can count on for the tax help you deserve!