If the IRS took all your refund for a debt that is not yours or they are coming after you for taxes you think are the responsibility of your spouse or former spouse, you may qualify for either Injured or Innocent spouse relief. Let the IBA Tax Group evaluate your situation to see which course of action you should take.
Injured Spouse Relief is exercised when one spouse is not legally responsible for tax liabilities of another spouse. These would include:
- Prior past due federal or state tax liabilities
- Child or spousal support, or
- Student loans
You can file an injured spouse claim if some (or all) of the following apply:
- You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount
- At least a portion of the income on the return was yours
- You had federal income tax withheld from your wages, made estimated tax payments or claimed the earned income credit or another refundable credit on the joint return.
A perfect example of an injured spouse case would be a married couple filing jointly in 2011 that supposed to receive a tax refund. However, IRS intercepts entire refund for the past due tax liability of a husband on his 2006 tax return. The couple got married in 2011 and it was their first year filing together. Wife had her share of income on 2011 return and had tax withholdings throughout the year. In this case wife could file for injured spouse relief since she was not responsible for husband’s tax liability in 2006.
Innocent Spouse Relief cases arise from joint filing of tax returns to receive certain benefits this filing status allows. Both taxpayers are jointly and severally liable for the tax. Thus, both spouses are generally held responsible for all tax due even if one spouse earned all the income or claimed improper tax deductions or credits.
- Fraudulent deductions claimed by the other spouse that are later disallowed, or
- Income of the other spouse that was left off the return
If you believe that only your spouse or former spouse should be held responsible for all or part of the tax, contact IBA Tax Group now to see if you may qualify for Innocent or Injured Spouse Relief.