IRS regulations hold both you and your spouse accountable for tax liability on a jointly filed return, even if you were unaware at the time that your spouse failed to report all eligible income. If you are seeking a divorce in Colorado and have filed a joint tax return, you may be held responsible for debt on underreported income that your spouse accrued without your knowledge. Innocent Spouse Relief can get you out from under a debt that does not belong to you, if you file the form and the IRS approves it.
It is important to file the form and apply for relief even if your divorce decree states that the responsibility will lie solely with your former spouse. Once Innocent Spouse Relief takes affect, the IRS will only attempt to collect the applicable taxes, penalties, and interest from your former spouse. You should be aware that not all debt qualifies for this type of relief.
To qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief, you are required to meet the following conditions:
- You filed your taxes jointly with your spouse or former spouse.
- Your former spouse is shown to have understated tax for certain items.
- You can demonstrate that you had no knowledge of the understated tax when you signed the return.
- The IRS decided, after review, that it would be unfair to hold you responsible for the underreported tax.
When the IRS is considering granting you Innocent Spouse Relief, agents will weigh factors such as the impending divorce, whether your spouse deserted you, and whether or not you benefited in any way from the omission on the joint return.