For married couples, filing a joint tax return is very often the simplest and the most financially beneficial course of action. It’s important to be aware, though, that when you file a joint tax return, both you and your spouse are equally responsible for all information reported. If your spouse makes an error, omits information, or misrepresents information on a jointly filed return, both filers can be held liable for any unpaid tax as well as associated penalties or fees.
This holds true even if you are no longer married to your co-filer. If you were married and filed jointly, you are both still responsible.
If the underpayment was unequivocally caused by your spouse, however, you can apply to the IRS for “innocent spouse relief.” If approved, this tax relief measure will assign all responsibility to your co-filer rather than splitting it between the two of you.
To qualify for innocent spouse tax relief, you must be able to prove:
- You did not know that the information reported was incorrect;
- You had no reason to know that said information was incorrect.
While these two measures sound similar, the slight difference is important. You have to prove that you had no knowledge the information reported on your tax return was wrong, and that a typical, reasonable person in the same position would not have known, either.
If you need help determining whether you qualify for innocent spouse relief, call the team at Taxation Solutions, Inc. today. We are here to provide expert tax guidance and tax resolution services in Mesa, and we will be happy to assist with your case. Call us today to find out how we can help!