For many married couples in Oklahoma City and throughout the nation, filing joint tax returns offers various benefits. Couples often do not realize, however, that any unpaid taxes, additions to the tax, interest, or penalties that arise as a result of the joint return can be collected from either spouse. Each spouse is jointly and severally liable for the amounts owed. This is true even if the couple later divorces.
Tax Relief May Be Available
Fortunately, there are certain cases where a spouse can obtain relief from the joint and several liability of a tax debt arising from a joint return. Following is an overview of these various forms of relief.
- Innocent Spouse Relief. This solution may be available to you if your spouse or former spouse failed to report income properly. It may also be available if your spouse or former spouse claimed improper deductions or credits on a tax return.
- Separation of Liability Relief. This solution may be attractive to taxpayers who are divorced or separated. If your former spouse failed to report something properly on your joint return, additional tax may be allocated to him or her. You will remain responsible for any amounts that are allocated to you.
- Equitable Relief. If you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, you may still qualify for equitable relief. You could be eligible for this solution if an item was not reported properly on a joint return but would generally be attributable to your spouse. Another possible way to qualify for equitable relief is if the correct amount of tax was reported on the joint return, but the tax owed was not paid with the return.
Qualifying for any of these forms of relief is not always easy. For this reason, it is important to seek guidance from an experienced tax attorney. We encourage you to view our client testimonials page to learn more about how we have helped countless other clients to find an acceptable resolution to their tax issues.