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Compare tax software Publication 971 - Additional Material Table of Contents How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). Compare tax software Questions & AnswersThis section answers questions commonly asked by taxpayers about innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software . Compare tax software What is joint and several liability? . Compare tax software How can I get relief from joint and several liability? . Compare tax software What are the rules for innocent spouse relief? . Compare tax software What are erroneous items? . Compare tax software What is an understated tax? . Compare tax software Will I qualify for innocent spouse relief in any situation where there is an understated tax? . Compare tax software What are the rules for separation of liability relief? . Compare tax software Why would a request for separation of liability relief be denied? . Compare tax software What are the rules for equitable relief? . Compare tax software How do state community property laws affect my ability to qualify for relief? . Compare tax software How do I request relief? . Compare tax software When should I file Form 8857? . Compare tax software Where should I file Form 8857? . Compare tax software I am currently undergoing an examination of my return. Compare tax software How do I request innocent spouse relief? . Compare tax software What if the IRS has given me notice that it will levy my account for the tax liability and I decide to request relief? . Compare tax software What is injured spouse relief? . Compare tax software What is joint and several liability? When you file a joint income tax return, the law makes both you and your spouse responsible for the entire tax liability. Compare tax software This is called joint and several liability. Compare tax software Joint and several liability applies not only to the tax liability you show on the return but also to any additional tax liability the IRS determines to be due, even if the additional tax is due to the income, deductions, or credits of your spouse or former spouse. Compare tax software You remain jointly and severally liable for taxes, and the IRS still can collect from you, even if you later divorce and the divorce decree states that your former spouse will be solely responsible for the tax. Compare tax software There are three types of relief for filers of joint returns: “innocent spouse relief,” “separation of liability relief,” and “equitable relief. Compare tax software ” Each type has different requirements. Compare tax software They are explained separately below. Compare tax software To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. Compare tax software The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understated tax. Compare tax software Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. Compare tax software You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. Compare tax software You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. Compare tax software For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. Compare tax software IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. Compare tax software You have a $500 understated tax. Compare tax software No. Compare tax software There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. Compare tax software You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. Compare tax software Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. Compare tax software To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. Compare tax software You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. Compare tax software (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. Compare tax software ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. Compare tax software In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. Compare tax software The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. Compare tax software You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. Compare tax software See Note later. Compare tax software You did not pay the tax. Compare tax software However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. Compare tax software The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. Compare tax software You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. Compare tax software The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. Compare tax software For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. Compare tax software You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. Compare tax software (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. Compare tax software ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare tax software Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. Compare tax software However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. Compare tax software      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. Compare tax software You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. Compare tax software If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. Compare tax software under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. Compare tax software Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. Compare tax software This is the collection statute of limitations. Compare tax software By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. Compare tax software If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. Compare tax software But interest and penalties continue to accrue. Compare tax software Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. Compare tax software This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. Compare tax software After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. Compare tax software The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. Compare tax software See Publication 594 for more information. Compare tax software Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. Compare tax software The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Compare tax software You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). Compare tax software You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. Compare tax software You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. Compare tax software . Compare tax software How can I get relief from joint and several liability? There are three types of relief for filers of joint returns: “innocent spouse relief,” “separation of liability relief,” and “equitable relief. Compare tax software ” Each type has different requirements. Compare tax software They are explained separately below. Compare tax software To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. Compare tax software The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understated tax. Compare tax software Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. Compare tax software You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. Compare tax software You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. Compare tax software For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. Compare tax software IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. Compare tax software You have a $500 understated tax. Compare tax software No. Compare tax software There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. Compare tax software You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. Compare tax software Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. Compare tax software To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. Compare tax software You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. Compare tax software (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. Compare tax software ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. Compare tax software In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. Compare tax software The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. Compare tax software You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. Compare tax software See Note later. Compare tax software You did not pay the tax. Compare tax software However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. Compare tax software The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. Compare tax software You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. Compare tax software The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. Compare tax software For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. Compare tax software You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. Compare tax software (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. Compare tax software ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare tax software Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. Compare tax software However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. Compare tax software      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. Compare tax software You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. Compare tax software If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. Compare tax software under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. Compare tax software Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. Compare tax software This is the collection statute of limitations. Compare tax software By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. Compare tax software If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. Compare tax software But interest and penalties continue to accrue. Compare tax software Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. Compare tax software This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. Compare tax software After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. Compare tax software The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. Compare tax software See Publication 594 for more information. Compare tax software Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. Compare tax software The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Compare tax software You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). Compare tax software You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. Compare tax software You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. Compare tax software . Compare tax software What are the rules for innocent spouse relief? To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. Compare tax software The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understated tax. Compare tax software Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. Compare tax software You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. Compare tax software You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. Compare tax software For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. Compare tax software IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. Compare tax software You have a $500 understated tax. Compare tax software No. Compare tax software There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. Compare tax software You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. Compare tax software Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. Compare tax software To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. Compare tax software You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. Compare tax software (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. Compare tax software ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. Compare tax software In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. Compare tax software The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. Compare tax software You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. Compare tax software See Note later. Compare tax software You did not pay the tax. Compare tax software However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. Compare tax software The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. Compare tax software You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. Compare tax software The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. Compare tax software For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. Compare tax software You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. Compare tax software (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. Compare tax software ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare tax software Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. Compare tax software However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. Compare tax software      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. Compare tax software You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. Compare tax software If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. Compare tax software under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. Compare tax software Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. Compare tax software This is the collection statute of limitations. Compare tax software By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. Compare tax software If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. Compare tax software But interest and penalties continue to accrue. Compare tax software Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. Compare tax software This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. Compare tax software After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. Compare tax software The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. Compare tax software See Publication 594 for more information. Compare tax software Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. Compare tax software The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Compare tax software You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). Compare tax software You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. Compare tax software You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. Compare tax software . Compare tax software What are “erroneous items”? Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. Compare tax software You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. Compare tax software For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. Compare tax software IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. Compare tax software You have a $500 understated tax. Compare tax software No. Compare tax software There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. Compare tax software You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. Compare tax software Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. Compare tax software To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. Compare tax software You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. Compare tax software (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. Compare tax software ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. Compare tax software In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. Compare tax software The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. Compare tax software You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. Compare tax software See Note later. Compare tax software You did not pay the tax. Compare tax software However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. Compare tax software The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. Compare tax software You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. Compare tax software The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. Compare tax software For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. Compare tax software You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. Compare tax software (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. Compare tax software ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare tax software Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. Compare tax software However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. Compare tax software      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. Compare tax software You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. Compare tax software If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. Compare tax software under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. Compare tax software Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. Compare tax software This is the collection statute of limitations. Compare tax software By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. Compare tax software If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. Compare tax software But interest and penalties continue to accrue. Compare tax software Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. Compare tax software This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. Compare tax software After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. Compare tax software The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. Compare tax software See Publication 594 for more information. Compare tax software Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. Compare tax software The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Compare tax software You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). Compare tax software You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. Compare tax software You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. Compare tax software . Compare tax software What is an “understated tax”? You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. Compare tax software For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. Compare tax software IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. Compare tax software You have a $500 understated tax. Compare tax software No. Compare tax software There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. Compare tax software You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. Compare tax software Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. Compare tax software To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. Compare tax software You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. Compare tax software (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. Compare tax software ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. Compare tax software In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. Compare tax software The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. Compare tax software You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. Compare tax software See Note later. Compare tax software You did not pay the tax. Compare tax software However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. Compare tax software The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. Compare tax software You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. Compare tax software The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. Compare tax software For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. Compare tax software You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. Compare tax software (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. Compare tax software ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare tax software Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. Compare tax software However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. Compare tax software      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. Compare tax software You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. Compare tax software If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. Compare tax software under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. Compare tax software Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. Compare tax software This is the collection statute of limitations. Compare tax software By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. Compare tax software If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. Compare tax software But interest and penalties continue to accrue. Compare tax software Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. Compare tax software This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. Compare tax software After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. Compare tax software The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. Compare tax software See Publication 594 for more information. Compare tax software Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. Compare tax software The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Compare tax software You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). Compare tax software You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. Compare tax software You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. Compare tax software . Compare tax software Will I qualify for innocent spouse relief in any situation where there is an understated tax? No. Compare tax software There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. Compare tax software You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. Compare tax software Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. Compare tax software To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. Compare tax software You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. Compare tax software (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. Compare tax software ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. Compare tax software In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. Compare tax software The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. Compare tax software You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. Compare tax software See Note later. Compare tax software You did not pay the tax. Compare tax software However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. Compare tax software The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. Compare tax software You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. Compare tax software The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. Compare tax software For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. Compare tax software You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. Compare tax software (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. Compare tax software ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare tax software Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. Compare tax software However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. Compare tax software      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. Compare tax software You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. Compare tax software If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. Compare tax software under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. Compare tax software Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. Compare tax software This is the collection statute of limitations. Compare tax software By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. Compare tax software If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. Compare tax software But interest and penalties continue to accrue. Compare tax software Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. Compare tax software This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. Compare tax software After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. Compare tax software The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. Compare tax software See Publication 594 for more information. Compare tax software Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. Compare tax software The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Compare tax software You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). Compare tax software You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. Compare tax software You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. Compare tax software . Compare tax software What are the rules for separation of liability relief? Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. Compare tax software To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. Compare tax software You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. Compare tax software (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. Compare tax software ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. Compare tax software In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. Compare tax software The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. Compare tax software You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. Compare tax software See Note later. Compare tax software You did not pay the tax. Compare tax software However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. Compare tax software The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. Compare tax software You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. Compare tax software The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. Compare tax software For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. Compare tax software You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. Compare tax software (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. Compare tax software ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare tax software Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. Compare tax software However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. Compare tax software      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. Compare tax software You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. Compare tax software If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. Compare tax software under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. Compare tax software Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. Compare tax software This is the collection statute of limitations. Compare tax software By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. Compare tax software If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. Compare tax software But interest and penalties continue to accrue. Compare tax software Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. Compare tax software This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. Compare tax software After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. Compare tax software The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. Compare tax software See Publication 594 for more information. Compare tax software Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. Compare tax software The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Compare tax software You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). Compare tax software You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. Compare tax software You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. Compare tax software . Compare tax software Why would a request for separation of liability relief be denied? Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. Compare tax software The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. Compare tax software You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. Compare tax software See Note later. Compare tax software You did not pay the tax. Compare tax software However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. Compare tax software The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. Compare tax software You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. Compare tax software The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. Compare tax software For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. Compare tax software You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. Compare tax software (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. Compare tax software ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare tax software Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. Compare tax software However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. Compare tax software      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. Compare tax software You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. Compare tax software If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. Compare tax software under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. Compare tax software Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. Compare tax software This is the collection statute of limitations. Compare tax software By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. Compare tax software If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. Compare tax software But interest and penalties continue to accrue. Compare tax software Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. Compare tax software This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. Compare tax software After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. Compare tax software The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. Compare tax software See Publication 594 for more information. Compare tax software Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. Compare tax software The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Compare tax software You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). Compare tax software You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. Compare tax software You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. Compare tax software . Compare tax software What are the rules for equitable relief? Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. Compare tax software You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. Compare tax software You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. Compare tax software See Note later. Compare tax software You did not pay the tax. Compare tax software However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. Compare tax software The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. Compare tax software You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. Compare tax software Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. Compare tax software You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. Compare tax software The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. Compare tax software For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. Compare tax software You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. Compare tax software (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. Compare tax software ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare tax software Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. Compare tax software However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. Compare tax software      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. Compare tax software You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. Compare tax software If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. Compare tax software under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. Compare tax software Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. Compare tax software This is the collection statute of limitations. Compare tax software By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. Compare tax software If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. Compare tax software But interest and penalties continue to accrue. Compare tax software Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. Compare tax software This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. Compare tax software After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. Compare tax software The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. Compare tax software See Publication 594 for more information. Compare tax software Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. Compare tax software When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. Compare tax software The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Compare tax software You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). Compare tax software You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. Compare tax software You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. Compare tax software Note. Compare tax software If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. Compare tax software . Compare tax software How do state community property laws affect my ability to qualify for relief? Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare tax software Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. Compare tax software However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. Compare tax software      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. Compare tax software You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. Compare tax software If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. Compare tax software If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. Compare tax software under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. Compare tax software Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. Compare tax software Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. Compare tax software Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. Compare tax software This is the collection statute of limitations. Compare tax software By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. Compare tax software If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. Compare tax software But interest and penalties continue to accrue. Compare tax software Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. Compare tax software This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. Compare tax software After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or
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The Compare Tax Software

Compare tax software Publication 559 - Introductory Material Table of Contents Future Developments Reminders Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Future Developments For the latest information about developments affecting Publication 559, such as legislation enacted after we release it, go to www. Compare tax software irs. Compare tax software gov/pub559. Compare tax software Reminders Throughout this publication, section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless otherwise noted. Compare tax software Consistent treatment of estate and trust items. Compare tax software  Beneficiaries must generally treat estate items the same way on their individual returns as they are treated on the estate's return. Compare tax software Photographs of missing children. Compare tax software  The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Compare tax software Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Compare tax software You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. Compare tax software Introduction This publication is designed to help those in charge (personal representatives) of the property (estate) of an individual who has died (decedent). Compare tax software It shows them how to complete and file federal income tax returns and explains their responsibility to pay any taxes due on behalf of the decedent. Compare tax software A comprehensive example of the decedent's final tax return, Form 1040, and estate's income tax return, Form 1041, are included in this publication. Compare tax software The publication also explains how much money or property a taxpayer can give away during their lifetime or leave to their heirs at their death before any tax will be owed. Compare tax software A discussion of Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, and Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, is included. Compare tax software Also included in this publication are the following items: A checklist of the forms you may need and their due dates. Compare tax software A worksheet to reconcile amounts reported in the decedent's name on information returns including Forms W-2, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, etc. Compare tax software The worksheet will help you correctly determine the income to report on the decedent's final return and on the return for either the estate or a beneficiary. Compare tax software Comments and suggestions. Compare tax software   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Compare tax software   You can send us comments from http://www. Compare tax software irs. Compare tax software gov/formspubs. Compare tax software Click on “More Information” and then on “Give us Feedback. Compare tax software ” Or you can also send your comments to the Internal Revenue Service, Tax Forms and Publications Division, 1111 Constitution Ave. Compare tax software NW, IR-6526, Washington, DC 20224. Compare tax software Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 3 Armed Forces' Tax Guide Form (and Instructions) SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number 56 Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship 1040 U. Compare tax software S. Compare tax software Individual Income Tax Return 1041 U. Compare tax software S. Compare tax software Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts 706 United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return 709 United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return 1310 Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer  See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting publications and forms. Compare tax software Also near the end of this publication is Table A, a checklist of forms and their due dates for the executor, administrator, or personal representative. Compare tax software Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications