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Innocent spouse relief: the role of proven tax counsel

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2015 | Internal Revenue Service

A recent media story focusing upon instances where a divorced party might summarily receive a nasty surprise from the Internal Revenue Service owing to actions taken by an ex-spouse during marriage likely solicits instant empathy and understanding from most tax attorneys.

Following is a hypothetical scenario (yet certainly a matter that often plays out similarly in real life) described in the above-cited article. One spouse — who routinely handled all the financial matters during a marriage that subsequently failed — fudged a couple’s tax returns by engaging in so-called “financial infidelity.” That spouse’s partner — oblivious to any wrongdoing — dutifully co-signed the joint tax return.

Years later, and following divorce, the innocent ex-spouse was summarily and unpleasantly acquainted with an IRS notice demanding payment for past taxes owed.

The tale is both cautionary and instructive, underscoring the general principle that both spouses in a marriage can be targeted for repayment of tax debt.

There is, fortunately, a caveat to that, namely this: In some instances, and owing to notions of equity and fundamental fairness, a spouse or former partner can escape liability in an IRS tax dispute through what is called “innocent spouse relief.”

At the Massachusetts law firm of Levins Tax Law,, we provide knowledgeable and aggressive representation to innocent spouses who, we note, “can be unfairly dragged into a legal battle” owing to the illegal acts of another party.

An innocent spouse claim needs to be timely and comprehensively prepared, as well as negotiated with the IRS. We take pride in our firm’s proven history of promoting the legal rights of innocent spouses, with Gerard J. Levins commanding several decades of IRS representation complemented by on-point experience as a former CPA and IRS agent.

We invite readers’ close scrutiny of our firm and advocacy in this important tax area through information we provide online at our Massachusetts Innocent Spouse Relief page.

We welcome your visit.

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