Last week I gave an overview of the tax resolution option called Innocent Spouse. That article is linked here.

This week I will go into more detail on the first of the three types of Innocent Spouse filings, known as “traditional” Innocent Spouse or the filing covered by Internal Revenue Code Section 6015(b).

My firm, By The Book Taxes, located in Norwalk, CT specializes in income tax preparation for individuals, families and self-employed people. By the Book Taxes also helps clients resolve their tax debts by preparing and filing Installment Payment Agreements, Offers-in-Compromise, Currently Not Collectible and Innocent or Injured Spouse applications.

Due to the legal concept called “joint and several” liability, each spouse is legally liable for all the tax owed on a joint return even though the income and resulting tax liability may be mostly or completely attributable to only one of the spouses.

One of the most important requirements for an Innocent Spouse filing is that a “valid joint return” was filed with the consent of each spouse without threats or duress.

The other requirements in a 6015(b) Innocent Spouse filing are:

  • An understatement of tax due to the under reporting of income or erroneous reporting of expenses that the requesting spouse had no knowledge of or reason to know
  • It would be inequitable to hold the requesting spouse liable for the tax
  • Innocent Spouse filing must occur within two years of IRS initiating collection activity

In a successful filing, the IRS will allocate the tax liability based upon the income of the two spouses and the requesting spouse will only be liable for the tax associated with their portion of the income. For 6015(b) relief, the spouses can still be married.

Refunds may also be available if the Innocent Spouse relief is granted within three (3) years of the original filing date of the joint tax return

Next week I’ll speak about Innocent Spouse relief under Section 6015(c) also known as “Separation of Liability”.

If you have years of unfiled tax returns or owe the back taxes, please call me. I can help.