Innocent Spouses Get More Time to settle Tax Woes


The IRS has extended the time given to innocent spouses to seek relief from their tax liabilities. In the past, the time limit for innocent spouses was two years. This meant that if you are an innocent spouse seeking equitable relief from the tax that you and your spouse are jointly and severally liable for, you have two years from the time the IRS initiates collection efforts to fle for such relief. But the recent IRS review of the regulation has seen the time limit removed for certain relief requests. The policy and program changes will be effective in the fall of this year and the IRS will be issuing additional guidelines for those to whom this matter concerns.

The long-debated issue of the two-year time limit is due to the fact that if you sign the tax submission forms with your spouse (or ex-spouse), are jointly and severally liable for all taxes so you can’t say you just want to pay your share. So to absolve yourself from the tax liability, you would have to prove that you are innocent, i.e. that you had no knowledge or reason to know about the outstanding taxes.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Darrin Mish, Tampa Tax Attorney, The Law Offices of Darrin Mish, P.A. | Attorney Advertising

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