Filing a joint tax return with your spouse can reap a number of tax benefits. However, there’s one little-known drawback to filing a joint return: When you file a joint tax return with your spouse, both of you are jointly and individually responsible for the tax you owe (along with any interest or penalties).
That means that the IRS can hold one spouse responsible for the total amount due, even if 100% of the income was earned by the other spouse or if a divorce decree indicates the other spouse is responsible for any amounts later due on previously filed joint returns. In short, you can find yourself in hot water with the IRS even if your spouse (or former spouse) is the one who created the tax problem!
There is some good news, however. The IRS understands that there are some situations in which this would be unfair, and they offer a tax settlement called innocent spouse relief that may help release you from all or part of the tax debt.
There are three types of tax relief that fall under the umbrella of innocent spouse relief:
- Equitable relief
- Innocent spouse relief
- Separation of liability
Each of these three options has specific requirements to be eligible, so we urge you to call the Pro Tax Resolution team today for professional tax guidance. Our team of qualified tax help specialists can help you resolve your tax problems with the best possible outcome!