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Innocent Spouse.

Many married taxpayers choose to file a joint tax return with the IRS because of certain tax benefits this filing status allows. Both taxpayers are jointly and individually responsible to the IRS for the tax and any interest or tax penalties due on the joint tax return even if they later divorce. This is true even if a divorce decree states that a former spouse will be responsible to the IRS for any tax amounts due the IRS on previously filed joint tax returns. One spouse may be held responsible to the IRS for all the taxes due even if the other spouse earned all of the income.

In order to help taxpayers that are being subjected to IRS problems because of
their spouse's actions, the IRS has come up with guidelines for innocent spouse tax relief where a person may qualify as an innocent spouse.

This means that if a taxpayer can prove they fit in those guidelines, they may notbe subject to the taxes caused by their spouses or ex-spouses. They may qualify for innocent spouse tax relief.

You must meet all of the following conditions to qualify for innocent spouse
relief. You filed a joint tax return with the IRS which has a substantial understatement of tax directly related to grossly erroneous unreported taxable income or the incorrect tax deductions, tax credits or tax basis of your spouse.

Unreported taxable income is any gross taxable income item received by your spouse that is not reported on the tax return to the IRS. Incorrect tax deductions, tax credits or tax basis are any tax deductions, tax credits or tax basis of property claimed by your spouse on the tax return filed with the IRS for which there is no basis in fact or tax law. You establish that at the time you signed the joint tax return and filed it with the IRS you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was a substantial understatement of income or tax. Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair for the IRS to hold you liable for the understatement of tax.