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1080ez Publication 971 - Additional Material Table of Contents How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). 1080ez Questions & AnswersThis section answers questions commonly asked by taxpayers about innocent spouse relief. 1080ez . 1080ez What is joint and several liability? . 1080ez How can I get relief from joint and several liability? . 1080ez What are the rules for innocent spouse relief? . 1080ez What are erroneous items? . 1080ez What is an understated tax? . 1080ez Will I qualify for innocent spouse relief in any situation where there is an understated tax? . 1080ez What are the rules for separation of liability relief? . 1080ez Why would a request for separation of liability relief be denied? . 1080ez What are the rules for equitable relief? . 1080ez How do state community property laws affect my ability to qualify for relief? . 1080ez How do I request relief? . 1080ez When should I file Form 8857? . 1080ez Where should I file Form 8857? . 1080ez I am currently undergoing an examination of my return. 1080ez How do I request innocent spouse relief? . 1080ez What if the IRS has given me notice that it will levy my account for the tax liability and I decide to request relief? . 1080ez What is injured spouse relief? . 1080ez What is joint and several liability? When you file a joint income tax return, the law makes both you and your spouse responsible for the entire tax liability. 1080ez This is called joint and several liability. 1080ez Joint and several liability applies not only to the tax liability you show on the return but also to any additional tax liability the IRS determines to be due, even if the additional tax is due to the income, deductions, or credits of your spouse or former spouse. 1080ez You remain jointly and severally liable for taxes, and the IRS still can collect from you, even if you later divorce and the divorce decree states that your former spouse will be solely responsible for the tax. 1080ez There are three types of relief for filers of joint returns: “innocent spouse relief,” “separation of liability relief,” and “equitable relief. 1080ez ” Each type has different requirements. 1080ez They are explained separately below. 1080ez To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. 1080ez The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understated tax. 1080ez Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. 1080ez You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. 1080ez You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. 1080ez For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. 1080ez IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. 1080ez You have a $500 understated tax. 1080ez No. 1080ez There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. 1080ez For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. 1080ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. 1080ez Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. 1080ez To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. 1080ez You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. 1080ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. 1080ez ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. 1080ez In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. 1080ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. 1080ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. 1080ez See Note later. 1080ez You did not pay the tax. 1080ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. 1080ez The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. 1080ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. 1080ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. 1080ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. 1080ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. 1080ez Note. 1080ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. 1080ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. 1080ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 1080ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. 1080ez However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. 1080ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. 1080ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. 1080ez If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. 1080ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. 1080ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. 1080ez This is the collection statute of limitations. 1080ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. 1080ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. 1080ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. 1080ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. 1080ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. 1080ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. 1080ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. 1080ez See Publication 594 for more information. 1080ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. 1080ez When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. 1080ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. 1080ez You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). 1080ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. 1080ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. 1080ez Note. 1080ez If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. 1080ez . 1080ez How can I get relief from joint and several liability? There are three types of relief for filers of joint returns: “innocent spouse relief,” “separation of liability relief,” and “equitable relief. 1080ez ” Each type has different requirements. 1080ez They are explained separately below. 1080ez To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. 1080ez The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understated tax. 1080ez Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. 1080ez You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. 1080ez You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. 1080ez For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. 1080ez IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. 1080ez You have a $500 understated tax. 1080ez No. 1080ez There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. 1080ez For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. 1080ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. 1080ez Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. 1080ez To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. 1080ez You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. 1080ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. 1080ez ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. 1080ez In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. 1080ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. 1080ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. 1080ez See Note later. 1080ez You did not pay the tax. 1080ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. 1080ez The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. 1080ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. 1080ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. 1080ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. 1080ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. 1080ez Note. 1080ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. 1080ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. 1080ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 1080ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. 1080ez However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. 1080ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. 1080ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. 1080ez If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. 1080ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. 1080ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. 1080ez This is the collection statute of limitations. 1080ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. 1080ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. 1080ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. 1080ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. 1080ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. 1080ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. 1080ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. 1080ez See Publication 594 for more information. 1080ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. 1080ez When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. 1080ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. 1080ez You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). 1080ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. 1080ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. 1080ez Note. 1080ez If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. 1080ez . 1080ez What are the rules for innocent spouse relief? To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. 1080ez The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understated tax. 1080ez Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. 1080ez You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. 1080ez You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. 1080ez For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. 1080ez IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. 1080ez You have a $500 understated tax. 1080ez No. 1080ez There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. 1080ez For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. 1080ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. 1080ez Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. 1080ez To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. 1080ez You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. 1080ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. 1080ez ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. 1080ez In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. 1080ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. 1080ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. 1080ez See Note later. 1080ez You did not pay the tax. 1080ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. 1080ez The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. 1080ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. 1080ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. 1080ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. 1080ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. 1080ez Note. 1080ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. 1080ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. 1080ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 1080ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. 1080ez However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. 1080ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. 1080ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. 1080ez If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. 1080ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. 1080ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. 1080ez This is the collection statute of limitations. 1080ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. 1080ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. 1080ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. 1080ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. 1080ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. 1080ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. 1080ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. 1080ez See Publication 594 for more information. 1080ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. 1080ez When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. 1080ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. 1080ez You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). 1080ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. 1080ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. 1080ez Note. 1080ez If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. 1080ez . 1080ez What are “erroneous items”? Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. 1080ez You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. 1080ez For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. 1080ez IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. 1080ez You have a $500 understated tax. 1080ez No. 1080ez There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. 1080ez For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. 1080ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. 1080ez Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. 1080ez To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. 1080ez You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. 1080ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. 1080ez ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. 1080ez In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. 1080ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. 1080ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. 1080ez See Note later. 1080ez You did not pay the tax. 1080ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. 1080ez The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. 1080ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. 1080ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. 1080ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. 1080ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. 1080ez Note. 1080ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. 1080ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. 1080ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 1080ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. 1080ez However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. 1080ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. 1080ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. 1080ez If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. 1080ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. 1080ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. 1080ez This is the collection statute of limitations. 1080ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. 1080ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. 1080ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. 1080ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. 1080ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. 1080ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. 1080ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. 1080ez See Publication 594 for more information. 1080ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. 1080ez When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. 1080ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. 1080ez You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). 1080ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. 1080ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. 1080ez Note. 1080ez If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. 1080ez . 1080ez What is an “understated tax”? You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. 1080ez For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. 1080ez IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. 1080ez You have a $500 understated tax. 1080ez No. 1080ez There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. 1080ez For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. 1080ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. 1080ez Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. 1080ez To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. 1080ez You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. 1080ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. 1080ez ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. 1080ez In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. 1080ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. 1080ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. 1080ez See Note later. 1080ez You did not pay the tax. 1080ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. 1080ez The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. 1080ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. 1080ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. 1080ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. 1080ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. 1080ez Note. 1080ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. 1080ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. 1080ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 1080ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. 1080ez However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. 1080ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. 1080ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. 1080ez If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. 1080ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. 1080ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. 1080ez This is the collection statute of limitations. 1080ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. 1080ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. 1080ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. 1080ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. 1080ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. 1080ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. 1080ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. 1080ez See Publication 594 for more information. 1080ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. 1080ez When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. 1080ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. 1080ez You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). 1080ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. 1080ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. 1080ez Note. 1080ez If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. 1080ez . 1080ez Will I qualify for innocent spouse relief in any situation where there is an understated tax? No. 1080ez There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. 1080ez For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. 1080ez You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. 1080ez Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. 1080ez To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. 1080ez You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. 1080ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. 1080ez ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. 1080ez In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. 1080ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. 1080ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. 1080ez See Note later. 1080ez You did not pay the tax. 1080ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. 1080ez The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. 1080ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. 1080ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. 1080ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. 1080ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. 1080ez Note. 1080ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. 1080ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. 1080ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 1080ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. 1080ez However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. 1080ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. 1080ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. 1080ez If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. 1080ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. 1080ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. 1080ez This is the collection statute of limitations. 1080ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. 1080ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. 1080ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. 1080ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. 1080ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. 1080ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. 1080ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. 1080ez See Publication 594 for more information. 1080ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. 1080ez When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. 1080ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. 1080ez You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). 1080ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. 1080ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. 1080ez Note. 1080ez If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. 1080ez . 1080ez What are the rules for separation of liability relief? Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. 1080ez To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. 1080ez You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. 1080ez (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. 1080ez ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. 1080ez In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. 1080ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. 1080ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. 1080ez See Note later. 1080ez You did not pay the tax. 1080ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. 1080ez The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. 1080ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. 1080ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. 1080ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. 1080ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. 1080ez Note. 1080ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. 1080ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. 1080ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 1080ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. 1080ez However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. 1080ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. 1080ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. 1080ez If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. 1080ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. 1080ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. 1080ez This is the collection statute of limitations. 1080ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. 1080ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. 1080ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. 1080ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. 1080ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. 1080ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. 1080ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. 1080ez See Publication 594 for more information. 1080ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. 1080ez When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. 1080ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. 1080ez You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). 1080ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. 1080ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. 1080ez Note. 1080ez If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. 1080ez . 1080ez Why would a request for separation of liability relief be denied? Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. 1080ez The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. 1080ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. 1080ez See Note later. 1080ez You did not pay the tax. 1080ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. 1080ez The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. 1080ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. 1080ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. 1080ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. 1080ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. 1080ez Note. 1080ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. 1080ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. 1080ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 1080ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. 1080ez However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. 1080ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. 1080ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. 1080ez If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. 1080ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. 1080ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. 1080ez This is the collection statute of limitations. 1080ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. 1080ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. 1080ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. 1080ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. 1080ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. 1080ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. 1080ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. 1080ez See Publication 594 for more information. 1080ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. 1080ez When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. 1080ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. 1080ez You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). 1080ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. 1080ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. 1080ez Note. 1080ez If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. 1080ez . 1080ez What are the rules for equitable relief? Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. 1080ez You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. 1080ez You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. 1080ez See Note later. 1080ez You did not pay the tax. 1080ez However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. 1080ez The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. 1080ez You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. 1080ez Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. 1080ez You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. 1080ez The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. 1080ez For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. 1080ez You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. 1080ez Note. 1080ez Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. 1080ez (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. 1080ez ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 1080ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. 1080ez However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. 1080ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. 1080ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. 1080ez If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. 1080ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. 1080ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. 1080ez This is the collection statute of limitations. 1080ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. 1080ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. 1080ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. 1080ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. 1080ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. 1080ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. 1080ez The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. 1080ez See Publication 594 for more information. 1080ez Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. 1080ez When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. 1080ez The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. 1080ez You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). 1080ez You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. 1080ez You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. 1080ez Note. 1080ez If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. 1080ez . 1080ez How do state community property laws affect my ability to qualify for relief? Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. 1080ez Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. 1080ez However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. 1080ez      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. 1080ez You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. 1080ez If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. 1080ez If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. 1080ez under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. 1080ez Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. 1080ez Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. 1080ez Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. 1080ez This is the collection statute of limitations. 1080ez By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. 1080ez If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. 1080ez But interest and penalties continue to accrue. 1080ez Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. 1080ez This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. 1080ez After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or
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Cell Phones and Wireless Communication

Before you sign a contract and choose a plan and a company that meets your needs, you should ask these types of questions:

Where can you make and receive calls? Most providers now offer a choice of local, regional, or national plans. A local plan offers low-cost options if most of your calls are near home. Regional plans generally offer a larger geographic area - sometimes several states. If you call outside the area covered by these plans, you will pay long distance and roaming charges in addition to the airtime used. National plans are the most expensive, but they let you use your phone anywhere in the country for a single per-minute price.

How frequently will you use the phone? If you just want a phone for emergencies, an economy plan with a few minutes a month may be all you need. On the other hand, if you are going to be a heavy user, a plan with several free hours and the lowest airtime charge is a wiser choice. If you plan to use texting, pick a plan that will meet your needs and avoid surprises on your billing. Most services allow you to upgrade a plan without an added one-time charge.

Is a family plan option available? Instead of individual cell phone plans for each member of the family, you can share one cellular service plan and a pool of monthly usage minutes among several phones. The cost of the additional numbers per month is usually less than if you purchased individual accounts.

Is there a trial period? Many people experience "dead spots" where a cell phone doesn't work. A trial period lets you test your service and try the features of the phone without incurring a termination fee.

Know your options. Make sure you are only buying the options or features you really need. It is always easier to upgrade a plan later if you feel you need another feature.

What happens if you want to cancel your service? Most providers have a penalty. This is a concern if you have to move out of the area covered by your plan.

Smart Phones

Smart phones are like miniature computers; they provide basic phone functions, along with advanced features, including browsing the Internet, accessing e-mail, interacting on online social networks, listening to music, watching videos, uploading pictures, and managing your calendar. They also allow use of a QWERTY keyboard to facilitate texting and e-mailing. (The keys are arranged the same way they would be on your computer keyboard.)

When shopping for a smart phone, consider these tips:

  • Consider the shape and size of the phone.
  • Make sure you can easily use the keypad to make calls or send messages.
  • Do you need to access the Internet with your phone? If so, ask whether a data plan is required and how much it costs; compare options carefully. Data plans govern use and costs associated with mobile access for e-mail, text messaging, web browsing, social networking, and other applications.
  • Take advantage of special pricing and promotions.
  • Learn the return and cancellation policies.
  • Be wary of buying phone insurance, which may sound tempting, but consumer groups generally advise against it.

If there is a particular phone model you are interested in buying, investigate which service providers actually carry the phone. If your service provider carries the phone, they may require you to renew or extend your current contract; you may also be required to upgrade the service plan you have in order to access all of the phone’s features. Some phone models are available exclusively with only one service provider. This may require you to terminate a contract with your current provider and start a new contractual agreement with a new provider. Under the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) local number portability rules, so long as you remain in the same geographic area, you can take your phone number with you when you move from one service provider to a different one.

Apps for Your Smartphone

“Apps”, short for applications, are tools that help you accomplish tasks or find information when you are on the go. Apps are designed to work on smart phones and may be downloaded or accessed using your phone’s web browser. Some apps are designed for specific platforms (Android, Blackberry, or iPhone), so make sure that you purchase apps that are compatible with your phone’s software requirements. While some apps are free, many of them do charge a small fee. Before you click “download”, keep in mind that the cost of your purchases are automatically deducted from your bank account or charged to your credit card or phone bill. Keep track of the amount of money that you spent on apps, to avoid shock when you receive your bill.
Visit the Apps gallery on usa.gov to download free apps from the government. Look for some of the consumer apps for product recalls, fuel economy, food safety, nutrition, and health information.

Privacy and Safety Concerns

Since smart phones are like miniature computers, many of the same privacy and safety concerns apply; however, unlike computers, these devices do not have anti-virus software to protect your phone from malware attacks, spyware, or text message spam. Therefore, you should take precautions with your phone, including:

  • Protect your passwords for websites you visit from your mobile phone, particularly financial institutions.
  • Refrain from posting your mobile phone number or email address publicly online.
  • Many mobile phones come with an email address that includes your mobile phone number in the address. Contact your service provider to have this email address changed.
  • Delete texts or emails from people that you don’t know. Don’t click any links in these messages.
  • Be careful about clicking on ads, as they can contain viruses.
  • Be careful about unlocking your cell phone from the manufacturer or service provider; this makes the phone more vulnerable to attack from malware.
  • Turn off your Bluetooth when not in use. They can be used by hackers to compromise your phone.
  • Encrypt passwords and other sensitive data saved on your cell phone.

For more information on how to protect yourself from these concerns, read more about online privacy.

Pay-As-You-Go Plans

If you want cell phone service only for emergencies or aren't sure how much you will actually use a cell phone once you get it, you may want to consider a prepaid cell phone before you commit to a long-term wireless contract. With a prepaid cell phone, there is no contract to sign and no monthly bill to worry about. You will know exactly how much you spend. The down side of prepaid plans is that you pay more per minute, and if you don't use the phone for an extended period of time, you could lose the money in your account.

Disposing of Your Old Cell Phone

Even after you get a new mobile phone you may be wondering what to do with your old phone and charger. There are safe ways to dispose of your cell phone that can even be helpful to others and not hurt the environment. Before you dispose of it, make sure to clean the phone to protect your privacy:

  • Remove the subscriber identity module (SIM) card from the phone.
  • Delete the contacts in your phone book, text messages, voicemails, saved photos, and web search history.
  • Clear out your call and text history (both calls and texts received and made).

After you have taken these steps, you can now determine how to dispose of the phone. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you not throw out electronics with your other trash, because they contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. It is recommended that you:

  • Recycle it. Many wireless service providers will accept your old phone at their retail stores. Similarly, you can send the phone and accessories to the phone manufacturer.
  • Donate it to an organization that can use it for charitable purposes.
  • Resell it.

The 1080ez

1080ez Index A Assistance (see Tax help) C Cancellation of indebtedness, Exclusion of Certain Cancellations of Indebtedness by Reason of the Severe Storms, Tornadoes, or Flooding Casualty and theft losses, Casualty and Theft Losses Charitable contributions, Temporary Suspension of Limits on Charitable Contributions Child tax credit, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Clean-up costs, Demolition and Clean-up Costs Copy of tax return, request for, Request for copy of tax return. 1080ez Credits: Child tax, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Earned income, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Education, Education Credits Employee retention, Employee Retention Credit Employer housing, Employer Housing Credit and Exclusion Rehabilitation tax, Increase in Rehabilitation Tax Credit D Demolition costs, Demolition and Clean-up Costs Distributions: Home purchase or construction, Repayment of Qualified Distributions for the Purchase or Construction of a Main Home Qualified disaster recovery assistance, Qualified disaster recovery assistance distribution. 1080ez Repayment of, Repayment of Qualified Disaster Recovery Assistance Distributions Taxation of, Taxation of Qualified Disaster Recovery Assistance Distributions E Earned income credit, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Education credits, Education Credits Eligible retirement plan, Eligible retirement plan. 1080ez Employee retention credit, Employee Retention Credit Employer housing credit, Employer Housing Credit and Exclusion Exemption, additional for housing, Additional Exemption for Housing Individuals Displaced by the Severe Storms, Tornadoes, or Flooding F Federal mortgage subsidy, recapture of, Recapture of Federal Mortgage Subsidy Free tax services, How To Get Tax Help H Help (see Tax help) Hope credit (see Education credits) I Involuntary conversion (see Replacement period for nonrecognition of gain) IRAs and other retirement plans, IRAs and Other Retirement Plans L Lifetime learning credit (see Education credits) M Mileage reimbursements, charitable volunteers, Mileage Reimbursements to Charitable Volunteers More information (see Tax help) N Net operating losses, Net Operating Losses P Publications (see Tax help) Q Qualified disaster recovery assistance distribution, Qualified disaster recovery assistance distribution. 1080ez Qualified disaster recovery assistance loss, Qualified disaster recovery assistance loss. 1080ez R Rehabilitation tax credit, Increase in Rehabilitation Tax Credit Relocation, temporary, Tax Relief for Temporary Relocation Replacement period for nonrecognition of gain, Replacement Period for Nonrecognition of Gain Retirement plan, eligible, Eligible retirement plan. 1080ez Retirement plans, IRAs and Other Retirement Plans S Standard mileage rate, charitable use, Standard Mileage Rate for Charitable Use of Vehicles T Tax help, How To Get Tax Help Tax return: Request for copy, Request for copy of tax return. 1080ez Request for transcript, Request for transcript of tax return. 1080ez Taxpayer Advocate, Contacting your Taxpayer Advocate. 1080ez Temporary relocation, Tax Relief for Temporary Relocation Theft losses, Casualty and Theft Losses Transcript of tax return, request for, Request for transcript of tax return. 1080ez TTY/TDD information, How To Get Tax Help Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications