It is not uncommon for spouses in Connecticut to file their taxes together in a joint return. There are a lot of benefits to doing so. The only problem one might see when filing an income tax return jointly is the liability issue. Thankfully, when one spouse makes a mistake or an issue is noted with a joint return, it may be possible for one to avoid liability by filing for innocent spouse relief.
There are three different types of innocent spouse relief. These are the basic innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief and equitable relief. An experienced tax attorney can review the details of one's case and help decide which best fits one's situation.
Innocent spouse relief is not something that will be awarded in every case. If it was, no one would be held accountable when tax issues arise. Certain conditions must be met in order to qualify for this type of relief. The general conditions include:
- The joint tax return had a deficiency due to a spouse's error or omission
- One was not aware of an understatement of tax on the return
- The facts of the matter deem it unfair to hold one liable for the deficiency
Filing for innocent spouse relief is easy enough. It is a matter of filling out and filing the right forms with the Internal Revenue Service. Getting approval is where things get tricky. The IRS just wants to collect any income tax owed by a couple. They will fight tooth and nail to make it happen. With the assistance of legal counsel, Connecticut residents who believe that they should not be held accountable for their spouses' tax errors can take the steps necessary to fight for relief from liability.
Source: irs.gov, "Topic No. 205 Innocent Spouse Relief (Including Separation of Liability andEquitable Relief)", Accessed on Oct. 11, 2017