What Is Meant by the Term "Innocent Spouse"?

Your divorce was recently finalized and you moved into a condominium in the Arts District in Oklahoma City. You are trying to move ahead with your life. However, as you start to prepare your income taxes, you see some things on last year’s return that do not add up. You have a sinking feeling that your ex-spouse may have committed tax fraud. What should you do?

Are You an Innocent Spouse?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) refers to a spouse, who had no knowledge, and no reason to know, that the other spouse lied on the couple’s tax return, as an innocent spouse. If you did not know about the fraud, and could not have reasonably known about the fraud, you may be considered an innocent spouse.

You May Have to Prove It

The IRS has one goal in mind—to collect taxes that are owed to the federal government. Therefore, if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse filed a joint tax return, the IRS is going to assume that you are both responsible for the content of that return. However, you still may be able to prove that you are an innocent spouse.

Your Divorce Proceedings Could Work in Your Favor

The IRS may be more likely to believe that you did not know what your spouse was doing if your marriage has broken down and divorce proceedings are underway. However, a divorce in and of itself does not conclusively prove that you're eligible for innocent spouse relief. You still need to prove it.

Please browse our FREE resources to find out more about innocent spouse and please call us today at 405-607-1192 for a confidential consultation if you are facing this difficult task.

Travis Watkins
Senior Tax Attorney