Innocent Spouse Relief

When you find yourself faced with an IRS audit or subject to IRS collection efforts due solely to your spouse's errors in claiming income or calculating tax owed, you have options. At the Law Offices of Robert T. Leonard, we provide you with a candid assessment about your situation and take the time to discuss innocent spouse relief and other options that can keep you from being penalized for your spouse's errors.

When Is Innocent Spouse Relief Available? What Must You Prove?

Innocent spouse relief is available to taxpayers in situations where a current or former spouse filed a joint tax return which:

  • Did not report income
  • Reported an incorrect amount of income
  • Claimed deductions improperly
  • Requested tax credits when none should have been granted

In these situations, you will need to prove to the IRS that:

  • The deficiency on the joint tax return is the result of your spouse's error (also referred to as an erroneous item).
  • You did not know of the joint tax return error (or erroneous item) that led to an understatement of tax.
  • You had no reason to know of the error/erroneous item.
  • You were separated or divorced or had not lived in the same household as your spouse for at least 12 months when the joint return was made.
  • The totality of the circumstances makes it unfair for you to be held liable for your spouse's error.

You need an experienced tax controversy attorney to ensure that you submit as complete a request for innocent spouse relief as possible. With our extensive understanding of how the IRS analyzes innocent spouse applications, we can greatly increase your chances of having your request for relief granted.

The Timing Of Your Request Is Important

A request for innocent spouse relief is time sensitive; you must request this relief within two years of the date when the IRS first sought to collect additional tax from you and your former spouse. Past this date, the only way to obtain innocent spouse relief is through an appeal to the United States Tax Court.

Get A Free Consultation With A Tax Lawyer

Get a free, confidential assessment of your tax situation by contacting our firm at 818-224-7935 or toll free at 888-408-9486. During your consultation, you will speak directly with attorney and CPA Rob Leonard. We represent clients in innocent spouse matters throughout California — including Woodland Hills, Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley — and across the nation.