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H&r block free 1040ez Publication 971 - Additional Material Table of Contents How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). H&r block free 1040ez Questions & AnswersThis section answers questions commonly asked by taxpayers about innocent spouse relief. H&r block free 1040ez . H&r block free 1040ez What is joint and several liability? . H&r block free 1040ez How can I get relief from joint and several liability? . H&r block free 1040ez What are the rules for innocent spouse relief? . H&r block free 1040ez What are erroneous items? . H&r block free 1040ez What is an understated tax? . H&r block free 1040ez Will I qualify for innocent spouse relief in any situation where there is an understated tax? . H&r block free 1040ez What are the rules for separation of liability relief? . H&r block free 1040ez Why would a request for separation of liability relief be denied? . H&r block free 1040ez What are the rules for equitable relief? . H&r block free 1040ez How do state community property laws affect my ability to qualify for relief? . H&r block free 1040ez How do I request relief? . H&r block free 1040ez When should I file Form 8857? . H&r block free 1040ez Where should I file Form 8857? . H&r block free 1040ez I am currently undergoing an examination of my return. H&r block free 1040ez How do I request innocent spouse relief? . H&r block free 1040ez What if the IRS has given me notice that it will levy my account for the tax liability and I decide to request relief? . H&r block free 1040ez What is injured spouse relief? . H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez This is called joint and several liability. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez There are three types of relief for filers of joint returns: “innocent spouse relief,” “separation of liability relief,” and “equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez ” Each type has different requirements. H&r block free 1040ez They are explained separately below. H&r block free 1040ez To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. H&r block free 1040ez For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. H&r block free 1040ez IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. H&r block free 1040ez You have a $500 understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez No. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H&r block free 1040ez ) 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H&r block free 1040ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez See Note later. H&r block free 1040ez You did not pay the tax. H&r block free 1040ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H&r block free 1040ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H&r block free 1040ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H&r block free 1040ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H&r block free 1040ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H&r block free 1040ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H&r block free 1040ez This is the collection statute of limitations. H&r block free 1040ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H&r block free 1040ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H&r block free 1040ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H&r block free 1040ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H&r block free 1040ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H&r block free 1040ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H&r block free 1040ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H&r block free 1040ez See Publication 594 for more information. H&r block free 1040ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H&r block free 1040ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez . H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez ” Each type has different requirements. H&r block free 1040ez They are explained separately below. H&r block free 1040ez To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. H&r block free 1040ez For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. H&r block free 1040ez IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. H&r block free 1040ez You have a $500 understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez No. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H&r block free 1040ez ) 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H&r block free 1040ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez See Note later. H&r block free 1040ez You did not pay the tax. H&r block free 1040ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H&r block free 1040ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H&r block free 1040ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H&r block free 1040ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H&r block free 1040ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H&r block free 1040ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H&r block free 1040ez This is the collection statute of limitations. H&r block free 1040ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H&r block free 1040ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H&r block free 1040ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H&r block free 1040ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H&r block free 1040ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H&r block free 1040ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H&r block free 1040ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H&r block free 1040ez See Publication 594 for more information. H&r block free 1040ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H&r block free 1040ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez . H&r block free 1040ez What are the rules for innocent spouse relief? To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. H&r block free 1040ez For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. H&r block free 1040ez IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. H&r block free 1040ez You have a $500 understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez No. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H&r block free 1040ez ) 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H&r block free 1040ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez See Note later. H&r block free 1040ez You did not pay the tax. H&r block free 1040ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H&r block free 1040ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H&r block free 1040ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H&r block free 1040ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H&r block free 1040ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H&r block free 1040ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H&r block free 1040ez This is the collection statute of limitations. H&r block free 1040ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H&r block free 1040ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H&r block free 1040ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H&r block free 1040ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H&r block free 1040ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H&r block free 1040ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H&r block free 1040ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H&r block free 1040ez See Publication 594 for more information. H&r block free 1040ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H&r block free 1040ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez . H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. H&r block free 1040ez For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. H&r block free 1040ez IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. H&r block free 1040ez You have a $500 understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez No. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H&r block free 1040ez ) 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H&r block free 1040ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez See Note later. H&r block free 1040ez You did not pay the tax. H&r block free 1040ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H&r block free 1040ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H&r block free 1040ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H&r block free 1040ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H&r block free 1040ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H&r block free 1040ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H&r block free 1040ez This is the collection statute of limitations. H&r block free 1040ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H&r block free 1040ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H&r block free 1040ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H&r block free 1040ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H&r block free 1040ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H&r block free 1040ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H&r block free 1040ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H&r block free 1040ez See Publication 594 for more information. H&r block free 1040ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H&r block free 1040ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez . H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. H&r block free 1040ez IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. H&r block free 1040ez You have a $500 understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez No. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H&r block free 1040ez ) 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H&r block free 1040ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez See Note later. H&r block free 1040ez You did not pay the tax. H&r block free 1040ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H&r block free 1040ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H&r block free 1040ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H&r block free 1040ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H&r block free 1040ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H&r block free 1040ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H&r block free 1040ez This is the collection statute of limitations. H&r block free 1040ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H&r block free 1040ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H&r block free 1040ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H&r block free 1040ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H&r block free 1040ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H&r block free 1040ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H&r block free 1040ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H&r block free 1040ez See Publication 594 for more information. H&r block free 1040ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H&r block free 1040ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez . H&r block free 1040ez Will I qualify for innocent spouse relief in any situation where there is an understated tax? No. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H&r block free 1040ez ) 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H&r block free 1040ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez See Note later. H&r block free 1040ez You did not pay the tax. H&r block free 1040ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H&r block free 1040ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H&r block free 1040ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H&r block free 1040ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H&r block free 1040ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H&r block free 1040ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H&r block free 1040ez This is the collection statute of limitations. H&r block free 1040ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H&r block free 1040ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H&r block free 1040ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H&r block free 1040ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H&r block free 1040ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H&r block free 1040ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H&r block free 1040ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H&r block free 1040ez See Publication 594 for more information. H&r block free 1040ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H&r block free 1040ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez . H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H&r block free 1040ez ) 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. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H&r block free 1040ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez See Note later. H&r block free 1040ez You did not pay the tax. H&r block free 1040ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H&r block free 1040ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H&r block free 1040ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H&r block free 1040ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H&r block free 1040ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H&r block free 1040ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H&r block free 1040ez This is the collection statute of limitations. H&r block free 1040ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H&r block free 1040ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H&r block free 1040ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H&r block free 1040ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H&r block free 1040ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H&r block free 1040ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H&r block free 1040ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H&r block free 1040ez See Publication 594 for more information. H&r block free 1040ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H&r block free 1040ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez . H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez See Note later. H&r block free 1040ez You did not pay the tax. H&r block free 1040ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H&r block free 1040ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H&r block free 1040ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H&r block free 1040ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H&r block free 1040ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H&r block free 1040ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H&r block free 1040ez This is the collection statute of limitations. H&r block free 1040ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H&r block free 1040ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H&r block free 1040ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H&r block free 1040ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H&r block free 1040ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H&r block free 1040ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H&r block free 1040ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H&r block free 1040ez See Publication 594 for more information. H&r block free 1040ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H&r block free 1040ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez . H&r block free 1040ez What are the rules for equitable relief? Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H&r block free 1040ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H&r block free 1040ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez See Note later. H&r block free 1040ez You did not pay the tax. H&r block free 1040ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H&r block free 1040ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H&r block free 1040ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H&r block free 1040ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H&r block free 1040ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H&r block free 1040ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H&r block free 1040ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H&r block free 1040ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H&r block free 1040ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H&r block free 1040ez This is the collection statute of limitations. H&r block free 1040ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H&r block free 1040ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H&r block free 1040ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H&r block free 1040ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H&r block free 1040ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H&r block free 1040ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H&r block free 1040ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H&r block free 1040ez See Publication 594 for more information. H&r block free 1040ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H&r block free 1040ez 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). H&r block free 1040ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H&r block free 1040ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H&r block free 1040ez Note. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez . H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H&r block free 1040ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H&r block free 1040ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez 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. H&r block free 1040ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H&r block free 1040ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H&r block free 1040ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H&r block free 1040ez This is the collection statute of limitations. H&r block free 1040ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H&r block free 1040ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H&r block free 1040ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H&r block free 1040ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H&r block free 1040ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H&r block free 1040ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or
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The H&r Block Free 1040ez

H&r block free 1040ez Publication 584-B - Introductory Material Table of Contents What's New Introduction What's New The IRS has created a page on IRS. H&r block free 1040ez gov for information about Publication 584-B, at www. H&r block free 1040ez irs. H&r block free 1040ez gov/pub584b. H&r block free 1040ez Information about any future developments affecting Publication 584-B (such as legislation enacted after we released it) will be posted on that page. H&r block free 1040ez Introduction This workbook is designed to help you figure your loss on business and income-producing property in the event of a disaster, casualty, or theft. H&r block free 1040ez It contains schedules to help you figure the loss to your office furniture and fixtures, information systems, motor vehicles, office supplies, buildings, and equipment. H&r block free 1040ez These schedules, however, are for your information only. H&r block free 1040ez You must complete Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, to report your loss. H&r block free 1040ez Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications