Many married taxpayers choose to file a joint tax return because of certain benefits this filing status allows. Both taxpayers are jointly and individually responsible for the tax and any interest or penalty due on the joint return even if they later divorce. This is true even if a divorce decree states that a former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse.
In some cases, a spouse will be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint tax return. There are three types of relief available:
Innocent spouse relief
Separation of liability
If the qualifications for one are not met, it is possible to qualify for the others. These mechanisms can relieve you from being responsible for unpaid back taxes, penalties and interest incurred as a result of the joint tax return that was filed. Each mechanism has different specific requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for the type of relief.
Innocent spouse relief is known to be one of the more difficult types of relief to obtain from the IRS. Many cases are denied because of mistakes made during the filing process or due to lack of professional representation. JFT Group Tax Resolution are experts in innocent spouse relief and can help.