The Internal Revenue Service holds spouses responsible for each other’s tax payments when they submit joint tax returns, a rule that is not necessarily absolved when such filers end their marriages. In some cases, however, Texas divorcees may be able to successfully request partial relief, ultimately reducing their liabilities. There are several types of relief available to joint filers, each of which is designed for application under certain circumstances.
It is important for tax filers in Texas to understand the filing options available to them. Applying for certain credits, staying current with IRS procedural changes and understanding the intricacies of federal tax law can mean a difference of thousands of dollars in tax payments. However, obtaining a working knowledge of such complex matters is enormously demanding of one’s time and financial resources, making it useful to meet with a Texas attorney that has a working knowledge of the U.S. tax system. This is especially important for estate taxes and similar issues, as the law regarding such matters change on a fairly regular basis.
Separation of liability relief is useful for situations in which a filer is deemed liable for taxes for an item that was never appropriately reported, as it allows one to request that the IRS allocate that charge to another party. Innocent spouse relief is typically used in situations where one is found liable for taxes, because the other filer failed to correctly claim deductions, report income or list accurate information on the joint tax return. If accepted, an innocent spouse relief application effectively absolves one of responsibility for a portion of their delinquent taxes. Finally, one may file for equitable relief if one does not meet the prerequisites for liability relief or innocent spouse relief but still wishes to request assistance.
In order to file for innocent spouse relief, a Texas-based tax filer must submit a completed IRS Form 8857. Filing for other forms of tax relief necessitates the completion of separate IRS forms.
Bankrate.com, “Can divorcee get innocent spouse relief?” Judy O’Connor, Nov. 19, 2013