When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is seeking payment of unpaid tax debt during the tax years in which you were married, you may seek relief by claiming that you are an innocent spouse. The IRS will assess various factors with regard to your request for relief. This includes whether you were a victim of domestic violence or spousal abuse.
6 Tips for Applying for Innocent Spouse Relief When You are a Victim of Spousal Abuse
While speaking about or describing past spousal abuse or domestic violence is likely unpleasant and difficult, it is important to provide the IRS with the information that it needs in order to maximize your chances of obtaining innocent spouse relief. The following are six helpful tips relating to this process:
- You must notify the IRS that you or other members of your family were a victim of spousal abuse or domestic violence during the tax years for which you are requesting relief from on Form 8857.
- If you want the IRS to consider the information pertaining to your abuse when making its determination, you may also complete an additional section on Form 8857. Doing so is not mandatory, but it may strengthen your request. You also have the option of providing the information orally rather than in writing.
- The form will list various domestic violence and abuse scenarios, such as hitting, criticizing, or stalking, and ask that you check all that apply to your situation.
- The form will ask you to describe the abuse that you experienced. This includes details such as when the abuse began and how it has affected you.
- You should include copies of documents that support your claim, such as police reports, medical records, photographs of your injuries, or restraining orders.
- You should also include information of any police involvement with your abuse, such as whether law enforcement was called, whether an arrest was made, and whether charges were filed against your spouse.
It is important to note that the IRS will contact your spouse or former spouse if you request innocent spouse relief. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this requirement, even if you are reporting spousal abuse or domestic violence.
Dealing with tax debt is never a pleasant experience. However, it may be more difficult when the situation involves domestic violence or abuse. Fortunately, we can help guide you through the process of dealing with your tax issues with patience and understanding. Learn how we helped our past clients by checking out our client testimonials today.