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Relief for tax debt after divorce may be available under Section 6015 of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”). Known as “Innocent Spouse Relief,” Section 6015 offers protection to individuals who can demonstrate their “innocence” in the event of erroneous or fraudulent tax return. The statute provides eligible taxpayers with a pathway for severing joint liability for unpaid taxes attributable to their partner. By filing an Innocent Spouse petition, individuals can present evidence to demonstrate that they should not be liable for the tax deficiencies caused by their spouse’s actions or omissions.

This statute acknowledges the importance of fairness and recognizes that it would be unjust to hold an innocent spouse accountable for tax obligations resulting from the actions of their spouse or former spouse. Through the Innocent Spouse Relief provision, individuals can request relief from joint liability and potentially be relieved of the associated tax burdens.

Many innocent spouse petitions are unsuccessful, so it is crucial for individuals facing this situation to understand their rights and responsibilities. Consulting with a tax professional is important for navigating the innocent spouse relief process effectively. I compiled the Innocent Spouse Organizer for use in training attorneys to handle innocent spouse cases for Maryland Volunteer Legal Services and can help you understand your options. Call for your free 15-minute consultation.