A marriage or partnership is not always the fairly tale story we think it should be. When you’ve committed your life to someone, you make certain sacrifices and decisions together that, when the relationship ends, makes parting even more complicated.
When a married couple file their taxes together, both parties are responsible for the full amount due. This is called a joint and several liability. However, there are instances when a spouse should not be responsible for the other’s tax liability. If your partner was the only one working in the relationship, it is not fair for you to pay a portion of the taxes that he or she owes. Even though your divorce decree might say your spouse owes any amount due on previously filed joint returns, you can still find yourself owing money you shouldn’t have to pay.
The IRS understands that there are situations in which the spouse or partner should not be held accountable, but they will not know you are not liable unless you have the right lawyer to show them. At Pro Tax Councel, we will raise your claim under the “innocent spouse relief” defense if you qualify.
How do I know if I qualify?
There are three types of relief from joint and several liability for spouses who filed joint returns. Innocent Spouse Relief allows you not to pay additional taxes from your spouse if they proved dishonest in some way, like failure to report income, or improperly claimed credit or deductions.
- Separation of Liability Relief divides your taxes owes and your spouses, so that you only have to pay for the taxes that are owed of you. You are only responsible for the amount allocated to you.
- Equitable Relief could apply when you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief for something you did not report. You can get equitable relief from an understatement of tax or an underpayment of tax. An underpayment of tax is an amount of tax you properly reported on your return but you have not paid.
The IRS isn’t the bad guys they’re made out to be. They don’t want to see a innocent spouse punished, and neither do we. If you are suffering because of tax crimes and you’re not at fault, you need a lawyer who will get you the relief you need to get back to living your life.
Contact the Houston tax attorneys at Pro Tax Councel, for a free consultation. Our firm is experienced in handling criminal and civil tax issues and can protect you from the IRS.