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Innocent Spouse Relief

Have tax liabilities related to your spouse (or ex-spouse's) income? You might qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief.

Innocent Spouse Relief

Innocent Spouse Relief is particularly useful in cases of divorce or separation, where one spouse is unaware of the other's financial dishonesty.

  • Who is eligible? You may request Innocent Spouse Relief if:

    • You filed a joint return with your spouse

    • Your taxes were understated due to errors on your return

    • You didn't know about the errors

    • You live in a community property state

  • Relief. Innocent Spouse Relief can relieve you from paying additional taxes if your spouse understated taxes due on your joint return and you did not know about the errors. The relief is only for taxes due on your spouse's income from employment or self-employment. You cannot claim relief from taxes due on:

    • Your own income

    • Household employment taxes

    • Individual Shared Responsibility payments

    • Business taxes

    • Trust fund recovery penalties from employment taxes

  • Benefits. If granted, the innocent spouse can be relieved of the tax, interest and penalties associated with the erroneous items.

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