Married couples generally file a joint tax return because there is often a financial benefit to filing jointly. However, when doing so, each spouse is jointly and severally liable for all of the taxes owed pursuant to Internal Revenue Code § 6013(d)(3).
One spouse may feel that he or she should not be responsible for the entire amount of taxes owed and can request Innocent Spouse Relief. Internal Revenue Code § 6015 lays out three reasons for a spouse to seek relief:
1. IRC § 6015(b) allows “general relief,” which is available to anyone who files jointly;
2. IRC § 6015(c) applies to individuals who have divorced, legally separated, or have not lived together for the previous 12 months; or
3. IRC § 6015(f) permits the court to grant “equitable relief” as a catch-all provision.
Please call my office immediately at (770) 984-5327 to discuss which of these options might be available to you.