IRS softens stance on “innocent spouse”

The IRS announced recently that they will extend help to innocent spouses who are liable for their partner's tax debt.

"In recent months, it became clear to me that we need to make significant changes involving innocent spouse relief," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.  "This change is a dramatic step to improve our process to make it fairer for an important group of taxpayers.  We know these are difficult situations for people to face, and today's change will help innocent spouses victimized in the past, present and the future."

Previously, the IRS had a rule that disqualified taxpayers from innocent spouse status if they failed to file for relief within two years.

If you suspect that your spouse is committing tax fraud, you may want to address the situation as soon as possible.  It can lead to years of building your defense to prove to the IRS that you didn't know of the fraud and that you are a victim.

IRS doesn't grant "innocent spouse" easily.

In this story on marketplace.publicradio.org, Tess Vigeland interviews Carol Ross Joynt who found out after husband died that he was being investigated for criminal federal tax fraud.  This is a great summary of the struggles that an "innocent spouse" experiences.

"My career was derailed and by getting innocent spouse, it meant that anything that was in my name or our names was mine," Joynt said.  "Anything that was in his name, alone, the IRS got."

If you are looking to protect yourself and save as much as possible on your taxes, just stop in your local Liberty Tax office or call us at 866-871-1040.

David Rocci

Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.

Posted To: Tax Rants by David Rocci By: David Rocci On: Wednesday, August 10, 2011
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