If you are married and have tax debt, it’s essential to understand Innocent Spouse Relief. This form could help you get out of paying the debt if your spouse was responsible for it.
This article will discuss what Innocent Spouse Relief is, how to fill out Form 8857, and provide a sample letter.
How to fill out innocent spouse relief form
Request Innocent Spouse Relief: Filing IRS Form 8857 & Letters
It’s critical to get innocent spouse relief right the first time. If your request is denied, you could have difficulties reapplying for this sort of relief during the same timespan.
It is a good idea to file as soon as you become aware of the taxes owed that you feel your spouse owes.
Before you file, make sure you meet the requirements of one of the types of spouse relief.
Innocent Spouse Relief Requirements:
- You Were Unaware of the Understatement of Tax
- You Blame Your Spouse or Former Spouse
- The Return Has an Understatement of Tax
- You Filed a Joint Return for the Year You Are Seeking Relief
Relief by Separation of Liability Requirements:
- Your Filing Status Was Married Filing Jointly
- Understatement of Tax Exists Due to Errors on the Return
- You are Divorced, Legally Separated, or Widowed
- Not a Member of Household for the Last 12 Months
Equitable Relief Requirements:
- You Do Not Meet the Requirements for the Other Types of Innocent Spouse Relief
The filing process is generally the same for all three of these categories. The only difference is how you answer the questions and your information about your situation.
Before you complete the forms, double-check the criteria for each kind of relief. Write down notes on why you meet the various requirements. Then, utilize those notes as you fill out the form.
All of these applications include questions to confirm that you fulfill the requirements.
IRS Form 8857 for Innocent Spouse Relief
This is a seven-page form for requesting innocent spouse relief. There are several questions on this form that ask about your circumstances and how you fulfill the criteria.
The IRS even requests information about your education and job experience.
The IRS uses information from your application to evaluate if you are educated enough or have had enough business experience to know whether a tax filing was incorrect.
You’ll need to submit supporting documentation in order to back up your claims. When completing this form, be cautious. The IRS may deny your request if you respond incorrectly to a single question.
You must file Form 8857 no later than 2 years after the IRS attempts to collect from you (with exception: equitable relief).
Here are some IRS collection activities that begin the two-year clock:
- A joint tax return debt offsets your income tax refund, and the IRS notified you of this using a letter that you may use to submit Form 8857.
- If the IRS took any legal action against you as a party or in connection with your property. This includes submitting proof of claim in a bankruptcy case.
- The IRS may bring a lawsuit against you to recoup the joint tax liability.
- You get a Letter 11, Letter 1058, or another section 6330 letter informing you of the IRS’s intention to levy and your right to a collection due process (CDP) hearing.
Innocent Spouse Relief Letter
If you were a victim of domestic abuse from your spouse/ex-spouse, you must submit a letter. Even if the letter isn’t necessary, it might aid in the presentation of your case.
Some sections of Form 8857 leave insufficient room for explanations. A letter gives you additional space to expand on why you qualify for innocent spouse relief.
You should also include supporting documents with your letter. If you were a victim of domestic violence, medical records, and police reports might assist.
Where to Send Request for Innocent Spouse Relief
When you’ve completed everything, submit your paperwork to the following addresses.
Using the United States postal service to send your form.
Use this address:
Internal Revenue Service
PO BOX 120053
Covington, KY 41012
Using a private carrier such as UPS or FedEx
send your request to:
Internal Revenue Service
201 W. Rivercenter Blvd., Stop 840F
Covington, KY 41011
If you have access to a fax, you may send the IRS form 8857 and any attachments via fax at 1-855-233-8558. It’s wise to include your social security number and name on any attachments you submit.
When Should You Not File Form 8857?
There are certain instances when you should not use form 8857 to apply for relief. Here are a few reasons:
- “No” is your answer to the first question on Form 8857
- You’ve already made a settlement agreement with the IRS for the same tax obligation you’re asking for help on.
- You entered into an Offer in Compromise with the IRS.
- In the ultimate analysis, a court did not decide whether to grant you relief from joint tax obligation. However, you showed that you cared and did not request anything.
- The court considered granting you relief from joint tax obligation, but it did not.
Innocent Spouse Relief Help
If you are looking for assistance in requesting innocent spouse relief, Let Debtstrategists help you get back on track financially.
We’ll match you with the best tax attorney and products available, so you can find a solution that fits your unique needs.