The taxpayer husband and wife filed joint tax returns for 2006 and 2007. Unfortunately, the husband did not review the tax returns and did not understand that there was unpaid liability on the tax returns when filed. At the time, the husband was retired and the wife was the sole source of income for the family.
The husband subsequently filed a Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, seeking relief for the tax years 2006 and 2007. The husband then filed a Petition in the United States Tax Court.
The Court looked at the various factors to determine whether to grant innocent spouse relief to the husband. Although the IRS agreed that the tax liability is solely attributable to the wife, the Tax Court denied innocent spouse relief to the husband because he was or should have been aware of the liability and signed a joint tax return. Further, the Court also denied relief because the husband would not experience economic hardship if he was required to pay the liability and he was still married to his spouse.
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