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Innocent Spouse Relief from Ex-Spouse Tax Debts

When you and your spouse file a joint tax return, you are jointly and severally liable for the resulting tax balance. This means that each of you is individually liable for the full amount due. Under some circumstances, this joint and several liability can result in injustice for one spouse.

In limited situations, the IRS recognizes an “innocent spouse relief” defense to a tax liability. If you believe that you should not be held liable for a tax balance that is the result of your spouse, Insight Law can help. Our Seattle innocent spouse relief attorneys will evaluate your situation to determine whether innocent spouse relief or another solution may help with your tax needs.

Do You Qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief?

Innocent spouse relief is a complicated area of law. In general, innocent spouse relief may be a valid defense to tax if:

  • Your joint tax return understated taxes because of an error made by your spouse or former spouse
  • You did not know or have a reason to know that the tax was understated when you signed the return

Individual Liability for Joint Tax Returns

If you are not eligible for innocent spouse relief, you may be able to allocate the additional tax liability you and your spouse owe. Instead of being liable for the entire amount, you will be required to pay the amount for which you are responsible. If neither innocent spouse relief nor a separation of liability applies, you may be eligible for equitable relief.

When we represent you, we will determine whether innocent spouse relief is a viable defense for you, or whether another solution will better work for your tax dispute. If innocent spouse relief is right for you, our lawyers will present a strong argument that liability should be assessed only against the spouse who is responsible for the underpayment of the tax.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

From offices in Seattle, Bellevue and Burien, our tax lawyers advise and represent clients in communities throughout King County, Pierce County and Snohomish County, Washington. Call us at 206-922-8078 or contact our office by e-mail to arrange an initial consultation with an experienced tax attorney at our firm today.