If your spouse or former spouse owed money to the IRS, you may have attempted to obtain innocent spouse relief in order to avoid the IRS seizing your portion of a refund or to keep from being liable for your spouse’s taxes, but it didn’t work. You may have then taken it to the next level and tried to get relief by separation of liability, but that option did not work either.
Now you wonder whether you will have to remain responsible for your spouse or former spouse’s tax liability because it seems as though you have no other options available to you. Fortunately, you may still have another option.
Do you qualify for equitable relief?
You could attempt to receive what the IRS refers to as equitable relief, which also offers you relief from an underpayment or understatement of taxes. In order to qualify, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must first have attempted to receive relief through the innocent spouse relief or relief by separation of liability programs.
- You did not attempt to defraud the government when you filed or failed to file your tax return.
- You did not pay whatever tax your spouse or former spouse owes.
- You and your spouse or ex-spouse did not transfer any assets to each other in an attempt to defraud the government, to avoid owing taxes or to avoid paying taxes.
- You provide evidence that your liability for understated or under-payed taxes would be unfair to you.
- You must have filed a joint income tax return with your spouse or former spouse for the tax liability in question. You should know there are some notable exceptions to this requirement.
- You will need to show you are separated from your spouse, but you do not need the separation to be legal.
The agency has rules in place regarding refunds that you will want to understand as well. Whether the IRS grants your request depends on a variety of factors. It will be up to you to put forth the best evidence possible of your qualification for equitable relief. It will certainly take more than just your assertions. Knowing what will constitute the best evidence will most likely require some assistance.
If you find yourself in the position of needing to request equitable relief, or any other type of relief, for taxes owed by your spouse or former spouse, it would probably be worthwhile to discuss the matter with a Connecticut tax attorney before moving forward in order to increase your chances of receiving the relief you need.