Filing For Innocent Spouse Relief: Form 8857


Filing For Innocent Spouse Relief with the IRS

In order to file qualify for innocent spouse relief you must meet the requirements for at least one of the following types of innocent spouse relief.

  1. "Classic" Innocent Spouse Relief Requirements
  2. Relief by Separation of Liability Requirements
  3. Equitable Relief Requirements

Once you have determined that you are likely to qualify , it is important to make a list of how you meet each qualification for the three types of relief listed above . If you feel like you qualify for multiple mechanisms, make sure you list requirements for all of them. It is best to file for each type of relief you think you may qualify for to increase the chances of being accepted for the relief. This list will help you in filling out the IRS form in a manner that proves you meet the innocent spouse relief qualifications. Writing a letter in addition to filing the innocent spouse relief from is also highly suggested, this list will help you point out additional points in your letter that you were not able to point out in the innocent spouse relief form. It is important to stress these reasons to ensure your request gets accepted by the IRS.

  1. Complete form 8857 - Request for Innocent Spouse Relief
    • Fill out this form and make sure you keep in mind the qualifications while filling this out. Be sure to give a detailed description on the explanation questions. These explanation questions are getting more detailed information on how exactly you meet the specified requirements. Know which type of relief you qualify for and make sure your explanations are specific to those requirements. Attach written statements where needed.
  2. Include a Letter to stress major reasons
    • A letter will help clarify your situation and help in speeding up your innocent spouse relief claim. Be sure to point out and stress specific reasons why you qualify for the type of relief you are requesting that you were not able to stress while filing out form 8857. It is good to give specific examples of how you meet the specific criteria needed to meet the requirements of qualifying for innocent spouse relief. It is also required that you provide an written statement if you were a victim of spousal abuse. You should also attach as much additional documentation as possible, such as, police reports, doctor's letters or report or a statement from a person that was aware of the situation (statement should be notarized).

  3. File with the IRS by sending to the following location
    • IRS - IRS-Stop 840-F
      Innocent Spouse
      PO Box 120053
      Covington, KY 41012
    • Do not send to any other IRS address, this is the central location for processing requests for innocent spouse relief. If mailed somewhere else it will significantly delay the process.

Also Keep in mind when filing for Innocent Spouse Relief

-The sooner you file, the better. The IRS use to have a rule that said all that innocent spouse relief must be filed within two years of the tax assessment. The IRS revised the 2 year rule in July of 2011 and now individuals may file later than 2 years after the tax assessment date.
-It is best to file for innocent spouse relief as soon as you are aware that a tax liability exists that your spouse should be held liable for under any of the innocent spouse relief provisions. You may become aware that a tax liability exists that could qualify for innocent spouse relief if you receive a notice from the IRS that they are increasing your tax liability or you find out that they are examining the tax return you filed for the purpose of increasing your tax amount owed.



Key Advice & Help

Do you need help filing for Innocent Spouse Relief?

When filing for innocent spouse relief it is important that everything is filed properly. Many times this information can be difficult to understand and we can help connect you with a tax expert in order to make sure you get the relief you need. Even if you do not qualify for innocent spouse tax relief, our tax professionals are experts in IRS and state tax laws and have a proven record of dealing with these agencies.

If you need assistance filing for Innocent Spouse, or would like a free consultation to determine if you would actually qualify, please fill out the form for a free consultation.

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