IRS Publication 3512 by gsservices


									  Where can I get                                                                    INNOCENT
       more                                                                          SPOUSE
   information?                                                                      RELIEF

Publication 971, Innocent Spouse
Relief, explains the rules to qualify                                                 What If . . .
for and claim relief from tax liability.
This publication can be downloaded                                                    You signed a joint return with your
from the Internet at:                            HOW TO                               spouse and . . .
                                              REQUEST RELIEF                          You thought your spouse had paid                                                                  the taxes due, or . . .

                                                You can file Form 8857                The IRS increased your taxes
You also can order free forms and                                                     because of your spouse’        s
                                           Request for Innocent Spouse Relief
publications from the IRS at                                                          unreported income or disallowed
800-829-3676.                              (One form will cover multiple years)       deductions and . . .

                                                                                      You knew nothing about your
If you have access to TTY/TDD                                                         spouse’s unreported or erroneous
equipment, you can call 800-829-                                                      items when you signed the return.
4059 to ask tax questions or to order
forms and publications.                                                               Now the IRS is asking you to pay
                                                                                      the tax owed on this joint return.
          The IRS Mission
                                                                                    What tax relief may be
 Provide America’s taxpayers                                                          available to you?
 top quality service by helping
 them understand and meet
                                                               IRS                           Call the
                                                  Department of the Treasury
 their tax responsibilities and                   Internal Revenue Service          Internal Revenue Service
 by applying the tax law with                     w w w . i r s . g o v
                                                                                           Toll-Free at
 integrity and fairness to all.                   Publication 3512 (Rev. 03-2001)
                                                  Catalog Number 28669X                 (800) 829-1040
q   If you meet the conditions for                  KEY POINTS
    innocent spouse relief, you will                                                       EXAMPLE (Additional Tax from an
    not be responsible for the tax         At the time the joint return was                Audit): Mark and Carol Smith filed a joint
    due on the return or any                                                               return in 1996. In 1998, the IRS audited their
                                           filed, did you believe the tax
    penalties and interest.                                                                return and discovered that Carol did not
                                           owed was, or would be, paid?                    report $12,500 in wages. This resulted in
                                                                                           additional tax of $3000, plus $675 in
q   You may be eligible for partial        Did your spouse’s income cause                  penalties and interest. Mark did not know
    relief based on the facts and                                                          about Carol’s unreported wage income. Mark
                                           the unpaid tax?
    circumstances of your                                                                  and Carol had separated in 1996 and Carol
    situation.                             If the additional tax due is                    never told Mark about her second job. IRS
                                                                                           allowed Mark’s request for relief. The
                                           because of an audit, did you
q   You must file Form 8857 no                                                             additional taxes, penalties and interest due
    later than 2 years after the date      know about the unreported                       on the unreported $12,500 of wages will be
                                                                                           collectible from Carol only. Mark will be
    the IRS first attempts to collect      income or erroneous items?                      relieved of the additional taxes, penalties and
    the tax from you.                                                                      interest.
                                           EXAMPLE (Taxes not Paid When Return
                                           Filed): Bill and Karen Green filed a 1998
q   If you prefer, the IRS will figure     joint return showing $4000 in taxes owed, but   In this example, the key factor
    the amounts for you if we allow        not paid. The tax resulted from Bill’s wages.   in the determination is that Mark
    relief. You can always verify this     Karen did not receive any income in 1998.       did not know or have reason to
    amount yourself or with a tax          Both Bill and Karen knew the taxes were
                                                                                           know of unreported wage
    advisor.                               owed but did not know how they were going
                                           to pay them. In 2000, Karen filed Form 8857,
                                           Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, for the
q   In order to process your claim,                                                        See if you qualify by using the
                                           unpaid balance of $4000. IRS did not allow
    you must attach a statement as                                                         Innocent Spouse Tax Relief Eligibility
                                           Karen relief. The unpaid tax, penalties and
                                                                                           Explorer at: /individuals/
    to why you believe you qualify         interest are collectible from both Bill and
    for relief.                            Karen.

                                           In this example, although the tax               If you believe you may qualify for relief,
q   Being divorced or separated            resulted from Bill’s income,                    file Form 8857, Request for Innocent
    does not automatically qualify                                                         Spouse Relief. IRS will consider all the
                                           Karen knew the tax was not paid                 facts and circumstances of your case,
    you for relief, but is a factor that   when the return was filed and did               including your knowledge and whether
    IRS considers.                         not have a reasonable belief it                 you received a significant benefit, and
                                           would be paid.                                  determine your eligibility for relief.

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