Innocent spouse (joint filer) October 2019 Tax News

When California taxpayers file a joint tax return, both taxpayers are equally responsible for paying any:

  • Taxes
  • Penalties
  • Interest

In some cases, a spouse or registered domestic partner may get relief from paying all or part of what is owed.

The Innocent Spouse Program reviews and evaluates applications for innocent spouse relief from taxpayers who believe they should be relieved from their joint tax liability. Under federal and state income tax laws, when a joint tax return is filed, both individuals are treated as agreeing to the joint liability. However, the law also provides that a taxpayer may receive tax relief from a joint and several liability if that individual qualifies as an innocent spouse.

In order for a taxpayer to request innocent spouse relief, a valid joint return must be filed. A taxpayer must complete and submit an application and provide a supporting statement explaining why they believe they qualify for relief. If you represent an individual that may qualify, go to our updated Innocent Spouse webpage for more information.

Also, check out our new informational video to help you and your clients learn more about the program. For those who qualify, this may be the opportunity they are looking for to resolve their outstanding tax liabilities.