Innocent Spouse

The firm has extensive experience in seeking innocent spouse relief for its clients under section 6015 of the Internal Revenue Code. Innocent spouse relief generally refers to obtaining relief from a joint liability arising from a joint income tax return filed with the IRS and/or the FTB which a person previously filed with their spouse. The rules which determine whether a person is eligible for relief from joint liability are lengthy and complicated. Our attorneys assist clients in determining whether they qualify for innocent spouse relief and represent them in their efforts to obtain relief from joint liability.

If a person seeks relief from joint liability, the law permits the other person who signed the joint return, the “non-requesting spouse,” to object to (or to support) the granting of innocent spouse relief. Our firm also represents non-requesting spouses when they wish to provide information to the IRS either in support of, or in opposition to, the claim for relief filed by the other spouse.

In rare circumstances, where spouses living in a community property state like California have filed separate returns, the IRS may seek to “split” unreported income between two spouses during the course of an audit, even though only one spouse earned the unreported income. Section 66(c) of the Internal Revenue may allow one spouse to avoid having to pay tax on the unreported income under certain circumstances. Our firm represents individuals who are seeking to take advantage of this “innocent spouse” law.