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Corpus Christi tax helpThere are a variety of divorce-related tax issues that can affect spouses, including addressing tax debts that accrued while a couple was married. When the IRS attempts to collect these tax debts, this may come as a surprise for a person who was not closely involved in managing their family’s finances while they were married or who was unaware of how their ex-spouse addressed income, deductions, and credits on a joint tax return. In these cases, innocent spouse relief may allow a person to be released from liability for some or all of their tax debts.

Qualifying for Innocent Spouse Relief

If the IRS determines that taxes are owed based on a joint tax return that was filed while a couple was married, a person may be relieved of the responsibility to pay the taxes owed and any applicable interest or penalties if they can show that the underpayment of tax was based on information provided by the other spouse. Innocent spouse relief will only apply to individual income taxes or self-employment taxes. To qualify for this form of relief, a person will need to demonstrate the following:

  • The joint tax return in question understated the taxes owed due to income that was not reported or incorrect tax deductions or credits that were claimed. For example, a business owner may have deducted certain expenses from their taxable income without actually paying these expenses.

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