By requesting innocent spouse relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse (or former spouse) improperly reported items or omitted items on your tax return. Generally, the tax, interest, and penalties that qualify for relief can only be collected from your spouse (or former spouse). However, you are jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties that do not qualify for relief. The IRS can collect these amounts from either you or your spouse (or former spouse).
You must meet all of the following conditions to qualify for innocent spouse relief.
1. You filed a joint return which has an understatement of tax due to erroneous items (defined below) of your spouse (or former spouse).
2. You establish that at the time you signed the joint return you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understatement of tax (See Actual Knowledge or Reason To Know, defined below).
3. Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax.
4. A request for innocent spouse relief will not be granted if the IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. A fraudulent scheme includes a scheme to defraud the IRS or another third party, such as a creditor, ex-spouse, or business partner.