Innocent Spouse Relief Made Easier

Attention all California taxpayers in Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and Orange County: The Internal Revenue Service announced the other day that it redesigned Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. The intent behind the redesign is to help reduce follow-up questions and reduce the burden on taxpayers. Perhaps your tax problem can be resolved by qualifying for innocent spouse relief. Please review my post made last Valentine’s Day, February 14th, entitled “California Taxpayers – Innocent Spouse Relief” for a more thorough discussion on this hot topic.

The form will ask more questions initially. The IRS believes that by collecting critical information early in the process, that will mean faster processing of the request. Previously, Form 12510, Questionnaire for the Requesting Spouse, was separate from Form 8857. The redesign will combine and streamline the two forms. As the IRS believes with most forms it redesigns, this redesigned form will be easier to understand and complete and will help educate us about the process.

The new design will eliminate an estimated 30,000 follow-up letters annually. This will result in reduced burden, quicker responses to taxpayers and less cost to the government. The revisions were based on suggestions from an IRS process improvement team.

When you and your spouse file a joint return, both of you are jointly and individually responsible for the tax. Innocent Spouse relief provides an opportunity for one of you to be relieved from the joint debt under certain circumstances. If you believe that only your spouse or former spouse should be responsible for the tax, you can request relief from the tax liability.

Speak to a qualified California tax attorney about how you might qualify for this relief. Call Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259.