211 Innocent Spouse Part 2, Injured Spouse, Separation Relief

In last week’s episode, the episode was a discussion of the innocent spouse relief. However if you don’t qualify or if you’re denied innocent spouse relief, there is also separation of liability relief, equitable relief, community property states relief, and injured spouse relief.

To qualify for separation of liability relief, taxpayers must have filed a joint return and meet at least one of the following requirements.

1. You must be divorced or legally separated from the spouse with whom you filed the joint tax return.

2. You’re widow.

3. You haven’t been a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the twelve month period ending on the date you request relief.

If a taxpayer doesn’t qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, the taxpayer may qualify for equitable relief. To qualify for equitable relief, the taxpayer must establish that given all the facts and circumstances, it wold be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement or underpayment of tax.

To qualify for relief under community property states laws, taxpayers must live in a community property state ( Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin) and the taxpayers couldn’t file as married filing jointly.

When it comes to qualifying for spouse relief, injured spouse relief is not the same as innocent spouse relief. Under injured spouse relief, you are requesting an allocation of refund on a joint return. Under innocent spouse relief, you are requesting relief or allocation of relief of a liability on a married filing jointly return.

If a taxpayer is requesting relief under injured spouse relief, the taxpayer is requesting their part of a relief from their spouse’s liabilities including separate past-due federal tax, state tax, child support, or federal non-tax debt (such as a student loan) owed by your spouse.

Form 8857 can be found here.

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