If items were improperly reported or even omitted in your tax return by your spouse or former spouse, you can request innocent spouse relief and be relieved of the responsibility of paying tax, penalties, and interest.

If any tax, interest, or penalty does not qualify for relief, you and your spouse are jointly and individually responsible for paying it. But if the tax, interest, and penalties qualify for relief, it will be collected from your spouse.

Innocent spouse relief is only applicable to an individual’s income or self-employment taxes.

For instance, taxes like individual shared responsibility payments, business taxes, and household employment taxes are not eligible for innocent spouse relief. You also do not have to figure the tax amount you’re responsible for, yourself. The IRS will do that for you.


Some of the criteria required for innocent spouse relief include:


– The joint return you filed has an understatement of tax due to an erroneous item (which could be unreported income or incorrect deduction, credit, or basis) of your spouse (or former spouse).

– You must prove that at the time you signed the joint return, you were completely ignorant and had no reason to know that there was an understatement of tax. If you knew or had reason to know, then the relief here does not apply to you.

– You and your spouse (or former spouse) must have a record clean of fraudulent schemes; you must not have transferred properties to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme to defraud the IRS, a creditor, or any third party.


Another important criterion is that the IRS will have to consider your situation and the facts around it to determine if it will be unfair to hold you responsible for the understatement. To do this, they will have to consider the following:

  • If you were deserted by your spouse or former spouse
  • If you and your spouse or former spouse have divorced or are separated.
  • If you received a notable benefit from the understatement.
  • If you received a benefit on the return of the understatement.

Call us today to begin filing the documents required to get you innocent spouse relief.