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The Difference between Injured Spouse and Innocent Spouse

With the rise in divorce and an increase in the number of people who have past-due tax liabilities, more taxpayers are seeking relief. Knowing the difference between injured spouse and innocent spouse could be very beneficial when trying to understand what options are available when you’re being penalized for a tax debt that’s not your responsibility. Here’s some distinct characteristics between the two.

There are basically three types of relief :

Innocent Spouse Relief. By requesting innocent spouse relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse did something wrong on your tax return (IRS, 2014).

Relief by Separation of Liability. Under this type of relief, you allocate (divide) the understatement of tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse) (IRS, 2014) .

Equitable Relief.  If you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability, you may still be relieved of responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties through equitable relief (IRS, 2014).

If you can answer yes to the following questions there’s a really good chance you may qualify for relief.

– Did you file a joint return and your refund was taken to satisfy your spouse’s or former spouse’s past due tax, child support, state tax liability, or non-tax debt like student loans?

-Did you personally report income on the jointly filed tax return?

-Did you make and report payments such as income tax withheld from wages or estimated tax payments, claim EIC, or other refundable credit on a joint return?

If you think you qualify and would like to further explore your relief options with a tax professional, please call Advantage Tax Services, Inc. You will be connected with a tax professional who will work specifically on your situation to provide the answers you desire and the best program available through the IRS for resolving your tax debt issue. (IRS, 2014) 866-606-3570

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