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Georgia Tax Attorney Explains Innocent Spouse Tax Relief

Saying "I do' is more than just a commitment to love one another in sickness and in health. It also means a blending of finances and the obligations that go along with it. Should the marital bliss fade, we at Gartzman Law Firm believe it's important for couples to realize that before they separate, in the eyes of the IRS, how financially linked they may still remain.

Joint and several liability
According to the IRS, it considers both taxpayers jointly and individually responsible for taxes and any interest or penalty due on the joint return even if a couple later divorces. This is true even if divorce documents state that a former spouse is solely responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns.

At our tax attorney and CPA office in Atlanta Georgia, we speak to many spouses (including former ones) not aware of joint and several liability who now find themselves approached by the IRS for back taxes, including fines and penalties due to mistakes or tax fraud involving a particular past joint return(s). However, recognizing that in some cases, it may be unfair to hold both spouses equally responsible for the others financial miss-dealings, the IRS allows the innocent party to file a claim for Innocent Spouse Relief. This program reviews the tax return(s) and facts in question, including the subsequent interest and penalties due and makes a decision whether to waive them (if applicable) for the innocent party.

Ask a Georgia Tax Attorney if You Qualify
If you think you may qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief, it is recommended that your consult a Georgia Tax Lawyer to first make sure you do. This IRS program is complicated and not everyone will qualify, so it is important that you have a qualified Atlanta Tax Attorney on your side to help.

Here are three key points you will need to prove in order to meet IRS approval:

  • You and your spouse did not share bank accounts and you had no access to them.
  • Your spouse had an independently owned and operated business separate from you (if applicable.)
  • In no way did you profit or benefit from any extra money gained as a result of tax fraud.

If you believe you still have a chance of qualifying, the first thing your Georgia Tax Lawyer will do is fileForm 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to begin the paperwork process with the IRS. NOTE: You must request relief no later than 2 years after the date the IRS first attempted to collect the tax from you.

At Gartzman Law Firm in Atlanta, Georgia, we determine if a client case is best served by the Innocent Spouse Relief program in order to resolve their tax problems and affirm to the IRS that clients meet the following criteria:

  • They filed a joint tax return with an understatement of tax.
  • The understatement relates to errors made from your spouse.
  • They are able to establish that they had no knowledge or any reason to know that there was a tax understatement at the time the joint return was signed.
  • It would be unfair to hold them liable for the tax understatement considering all facts and circumstances presented.
  • Once the Atlanta Tax Help Attorney files the paperwork for an Innocent Spouse Claim, the IRS will send out a questionnaire for the purpose of verifying the validity of their story.

When the Form 8857 is filed with the IRS, it may take up to 6 months before a determination is made. During the processing time, your Georgia Tax Lawyer will maintain communications with the IRS regarding these tax problems on your behalf no matter the size of the liability.

Let a Tax Attorney and CPA in Atlanta Review Your Case
It is not advised or necessary to deal with the IRS directly. Having tax help lawyers in Georgia on your side to sort out these complicated tax problems generally ensures a better outcome. You are encouraged to hire a Georgia tax lawyer and Atlanta CPA for IRS representation and in doing so they will deal directly with the IRS on your behalf making it no longer necessary to fear their strong armed collection tactics that benefits only them.

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