Gunnstaks Law Office
Handling High-Value, High-Conflict Family Law Cases

Contact Our Firm Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

The IRS has an innocent spouse rule

Financial issues are a common area of disagreement among spouses who file for divorce. This separation can also unearth financial improprieties, such as a spouse not paying bills, diverting money to pay for an addiction, or conduct other forms of financial abuse. It can also be a conscious or mistaken effort not to meet a family’s legal tax obligation when filing a joint tax return. Common examples of this include an inflated amount of deductions or under-reported income.

The IRS is aware of the phenomenon where a spouse was unaware of a husband or wife filing an inaccurate joint return, and refers to it as the Innocent-Spouse Rule.

Who qualifies for Innocent-Spouse Relief?

Taxpayers must meet the following conditions to be eligible:

  • The joint tax return includes an erroneous understatement of tax obligations that are directly attributed to the other spouse.
  • The innocent spouse must have no knowledge of the filing error.
  • The IRS must agree to relieve the innocent spouse of the tax obligation in question.
  • The application for relief (IRS form 8857) must occur within two years of the IRS initiating collection.

If the couple finalized the divorce after the erroneous filing, or the spouse who filed the inaccurate return has since deceased, the taxpayer may apply for separate election liability. While the burden of proof usually falls upon the IRS, the claimant must prove that they are innocent.

A complicated situation

Some divorces involved complicated finances that can include debt, business valuation, complex estates, or bankruptcy. Those with questions about how the Innocent-Spouse Rule or other financial concerns can impact their divorce settlement may wish to speak with a Board-certified Family Law specialist expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County Midland County, Ector County, and surrounding areas of Texas. These attorneys can help protect the innocent spouse against financial indiscretions or improprieties of the other spouse during the divorce process.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Press Release
  • Board Certified | Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb
  • LCA | Litigation Counsel of America | FELLOW Gunnstaks Law Office, Attorneys & Lawyers, Plano, TX 10 Best 2015 Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Family Law Attorneys

Office Location

Gunnstaks Law Office
5601 Granite Parkway, Suite 350
Plano, TX 75024

Toll Free: 800-806-0186
Phone: 972-590-6572
Phone: 800-806-0186
Fax: 214-619-0636
Plano Law Office Map

Call For Appointment Map