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Can you qualify for Washington innocent spouse relief?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Blog, Tax Debt |

Getting divorced in Washington can often involve trouble with the IRS. This is because both parties in a marriage are responsible for taxes filed on their joint returns. If there is an unpaid balance or audit, both will likewise be liable for paying the balance that is owed. However, there are some measures you can take to mitigate this.

When is innocent spouse relief useful?

Tax law in this state calls for many punitive measures about uncollected taxes. These are the sorts of actions that can put both parties in a serious bind. However, you should know that you have recourse if you feel the IRS is unfairly targeting you.

Making an application for innocent spouse relief amounts to an extremely specific request. This is to be officially exempt from all or part of your joint return tax debt. In other words, you wish to dissociate yourself from all the debt that a former spouse ran up without your knowledge or consent.

Qualifying for innocent spouse relief

Washington state law mandates the official process by which you can apply for this type of relief. You will first fill out Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. This details all the facts you wish to present to make your case as strong as possible.

After you fill out the form, you will send it to the Innocent Spouse unit of the IRS. They will then begin an investigation into the circumstances regarding your request. They will contact you to obtain further information. They will also question the spouse who has not made the request.

Once the investigation has been concluded, the IRS will render its decision. You will have the right to appeal if the ruling goes against you. This can be requested by filing Form 12509, Statement of Disagreement. The process may take more than a year. Remember that many decisions of this type are later reversed, so your odds are good.