What Are the Four Types of Innocent Spouse Relief?

Innocent Spouse Relief, Tax relief helpers

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If you’re facing tax issues and are looking to resolve them through a settlement with the IRS, it’s essential to understand the different relief options available to you. If you want to explore this or other tax relief options further – we’d suggest giving us a call. Here at Tax Relief Helpers we have a team of seasoned experts in tax resolution who will be able to give you the best advice based on your individual circumstances, before helping you through the entire process with the IRS.

Innocent spouse relief: A way out of unfair tax liabilities

Image with two couples, one in their 50's, with a caption that says Spouse Got you into tax trouble?  What you need to know about innocent spouse releif

One such option is Innocent Spouse Relief, which can provide a way out for individuals who have been unfairly burdened by their spouse’s tax liabilities. 
We’ll explore the four types of Innocent Spouse Relief, clarify what is not considered a type of relief, and address common questions about Form 8857 and 8379. So, let’s dive in!

Clarifying Innocent Spouse Relief and its differences

Before we delve into the types of Innocent Spouse Relief, let’s clarify what it is not. 

  • Innocent Spouse Relief is not the same as injured spouse relief. While both aim to protect individuals from their spouse’s tax liabilities, they differ in the circumstances under which they apply.
  • Innocent Spouse Relief provides relief from joint and several liabilities for tax understatements or underpayments attributable to the other spouse or former spouse.

The four types of Innocent Spouse Relief

Now, let’s explore the four types of Innocent Spouse Relief:

  1. Classic Innocent Spouse Relief:
    Classic Innocent Spouse Relief is the most common type. To qualify, you must meet specific criteria, such as demonstrating that you had no knowledge of the understatement or underpayment of tax when you signed the joint return. Additionally, you must prove that it would be unfair to hold you responsible for the tax debt.
  2. Separation of Liability Relief:
    Separation of Liability Relief allows you to allocate the understatement or underpayment of tax between you and your spouse or former spouse. This type of relief provides a way to divide the tax liability fairly based on each individual’s share of the responsibility.
  3. Equitable Relief:
    Equitable Relief is available for situations where you don’t qualify for the first two types of Innocent Spouse Relief. To be eligible, you must demonstrate that it would be unfair to hold you accountable for the tax debt. The IRS considers various factors, such as abuse, financial hardship, and whether you had any knowledge or reason to know about the understatement or underpayment of tax.
  4. Separation of Liability After Divorce Relief:
    This type of relief is available to individuals who have divorced or legally separated from their spouse or former spouse. It allows for the allocation of the understatement or underpayment of tax that occurred during the marriage or joint tax return period.

    And this is why it’s worth using an intermediary such as the Tax Relief Helpers. We have substantial experience helping people claim tax relief, and know all the different options available as well as what it takes to qualify for each.

Form 8857 (innocent spouse relief) and 8379 (injured spouse allocation) understanding the difference

Now that we’ve covered the four types of Innocent Spouse Relief let’s address some common questions about Form 8857 and 8379:

What is the difference between Form 8857 and 8379?

Form 8857, also known as the Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, is used to apply for Innocent Spouse Relief. This form requires you to provide detailed information about your tax situation and the reasons you believe you qualify for relief. On the other hand, Form 8379, the Injured Spouse Allocation form, is used to claim injured spouse relief and allocate the portion of a joint refund that belongs to the spouse who is not responsible for the tax debt.

Which spouse should claim Innocent Spouse Relief?

In general, the spouse seeking Innocent Spouse Relief should be the one who believes they meet the criteria and can demonstrate that it would be unfair to hold them responsible for the tax debt. However, it’s essential to consult with a tax professional or seek legal advice to determine the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.

Resolving tax issues through settlement with the IRS can be daunting, but understanding the different options available, such as Innocent Spouse Relief, can provide a path toward a fair resolution. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief, it’s crucial to take the following steps:

  1. Gather all necessary documents: Before filling out Form 8857, gather all relevant documents, including your tax returns, financial statements, and any supporting documentation that helps establish your eligibility for Innocent Spouse Relief.
  2. Complete Form 8857 accurately: When completing Form 8857, be thorough and provide all required information. Clearly explain your situation and why you believe you qualify for relief. It’s advisable to seek assistance from a tax professional or IRS-authorized representative to ensure the form is filled out correctly.
  3. Submit your request to the IRS: Once you have completed Form 8857, submit it to the IRS according to their instructions. Be sure to keep a copy of the form and any supporting documents for your records.
  4. Await the IRS decision: The IRS will review your Innocent Spouse Relief request and consider all relevant factors and documentation. The process may take some time, so it’s important to be patient.
  5. Seek professional help if needed: If you find the process overwhelming or need assistance navigating the complexities of Innocent Spouse Relief, consider seeking help from a tax professional or IRS-authorized representative. They can guide you through the process, increase your chances of success, and alleviate some of the stress associated with resolving tax issues.

Exploring options and seeking professional guidance

Remember, Innocent Spouse Relief is just one option available for resolving tax liabilities. It’s crucial to evaluate all potential solutions and determine the best course of action based on your specific circumstances. Consulting with a tax professional can provide valuable insights and ensure you make informed decisions. And this is why it’s worth using an intermediary such as the Tax Relief Helpers.

Understanding the four types of Innocent Spouse Relief and how to navigate the application process can be crucial for individuals seeking to resolve tax issues through settlement with the IRS. By exploring the available options and seeking professional guidance, you can work towards a fair resolution and find relief from the burden of your spouse’s tax liabilities.

If you’re facing tax problems and need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Tax Relief Helpers. Our experienced team can provide personalized guidance, explore your available options, and help you navigate the process with the IRS. Don’t let tax issues weigh you down—take action and find the optimal solution for your situation. Give us a call, and let us help you find the optimal solution. 

Tax Relief Helpers will be able to explain all your options, negotiate settlements on your behalf, and save you a considerable amount of time, money, and stress.