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  • Writer's pictureHolly Roundtree CPA

2019 – 10/29

Spouses filing a joint federal income tax return generally are both liable for the tax owed. But, under certain conditions, one spouse may be able to avoid joint liability by qualifying for “innocent spouse relief.” In one case, the ex-wife of an attorney-turned-physician filed for this relief for multiple years of joint liability. The U.S. Tax Court noted that, while many factors were in her favor, other factors outweighed them, and relief was denied. The court said it was clear she had reason and opportunity to know that her ex-husband wasn’t paying their joint tax liabilities, in part because she’d participated in his multiyear practice of “simply not paying tax.” (TC Memo 2019-138)

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