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Types Of Innocent Spouse Relief

There are three types of innocent spouse relief offered by the IRS. The IRS started off with the one type of innocent spouse relief and has since implemented two additional types of relief under this rule to make it available to more people. When applying for innocent spouse relief it is important to know the different requirements for the type of relief you plan on applying for. All three types of relief can be applied for by filing out IRS form 8857. Most people have their relief denied because they fail to keep in mind the qualifications when applying and put information in form 8857. If you keep these requirements in mind when filling out the request, your chances are much higher for receiving this type of relief. Here are the three different types of relief:

1. Innocent Spouse Relief "Classic/Original"

  • This is the original type of innocent spouse relief offered by the IRS. Don't be confused since this is called innocent spouse relief that it is the only type of relief offered under innocent spouse relief. Under this type of relief, you must have filed a joint return with the person you are requesting relief from. This return must have contained errors caused by your spouse or former spouse. In order to qualify you must be able to establish the fact that at the time you filed the joint return together you did not know that there was an understatement of tax. You must also be able to prove that when taking into consideration all of the facts, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the tax strategies ltd amount owed.
2. Relief by Separation of Liability
  • This is the second type of relief offered under innocent spouse relief. The IRS created this type of relief years after the original type of relief was created to extend relief to more individuals that should not be held liable for the tax liability created at the fault of their former spouse. In order to qualify for this type of relief you must no longer be married to or you are legally separated from the spouse that you filed the joint return with and you must be able to show that you were not living together or a member of the same household at the time you filed form 8857 with the IRS.
3. Equitable Relief
  • This is the third and final type of relief offered under innocent spouse relief. Under this type of relief you must not qualify for "classic" innocent spouse relief, relief from liability arising from community property law or relief by separation of liability. This is the only type of relief available under the innocent spouse rule that allows you to receive the relief for an understatement of tax strategies limited as well as an underpayment of tax. In order to receive this type of relief you must be able to prove you did not try to commit fraud by transferring assets or failing to file the return as a way of avoiding paying tax. Other requirements are that you must not have paid the tax amount owed, you must be able to prove that it would be unfair to hold you liable for the amount owed and the tax liability that you are trying to get relief for is the fault of your spouse or former spouse.

If you meet these requirements it is likely that you will be able to receive this type of relief. In order to apply for innocent spouse relief, you must file IRS form 8857 with the IRS. In many cases innocent spouse relief is denied because the applicant did not fill out the form correctly. I is highly suggested that an individual that is applying for this type of relief spends time understanding how exactly they meet the requirements and keep those in mind when answering the questions on form 8857. There are many tax agencies that specialize in filing for this type of relief and can assist in the filing and you can be assured that the paper work is filed correctly if use an innocent spouse relief specialist.

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