Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Innocent Spouse – Threshold Conditions

A spouse or former spouse may petition the Commissioner for relief from joint and several liability in certain circumstances.The Commissioner may relieve a spouse or former spouse from joint and several liability if, taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be inequitable to hold the taxpayer liable for any unpaid tax or deficiency. Seven threshold conditions must be satisfied before the Commissioner will consider a request for equitable relief

(i) The requesting spouse filed a joint income tax return for the taxable year for which he or she seeks relief;

(ii) relief is not available to the requesting spouse under section 6015(b) or (c);

(iii) the requesting spouse applies for relief no later than 2 years after the date of the Commissioner’s first collection activity after July 22, 1998, with respect to the requesting spouse;3

(iv) no assets were transferred between the spouses as part of a fraudulent scheme by the spouses;

(v) the nonrequesting spouse did not transfer disqualified assets to the requesting spouse;

(vi) the requesting spouse did not file or fail to file the return with fraudulent intent; and

(vii) the Federal income tax liability from which the requesting spouse seeks relief is attributable to an item of the individual with whom the requesting spouse filed the joint income tax return.

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