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Oftentimes, one member of the household handles all the money. For many couples, one person is usually in charge of filing tax returns and carrying out other financial obligations. Such exclusions can lead to problems later on, especially when that partner makes a mistake or manages the finances incorrectly.

Fortunately, the state of California and the IRS both recognize that a deceitful spouse can create tax issues. This harms the other spouse, who was unaware of their partner’s negligence. There are several types of relief for various unique situations, such as:

  • Traditional relief: You might be eligible for traditional innocent joint filer relief if you filed or signed a joint tax return, but were unaware of items that led to an audit assessment. In this case, your spouse was aware and in the wrong.
  • Separate allocation: Separate allocation of liability is a type of relief that assesses which spouse is responsible for filing the joint tax return. In this scenario, being divorced, legally separated or living apart for a year or more are all factors considered.
  • Equitable relief: Spouses who don’t qualify for other relief options could pursue equitable relief, depending on the situation. To be considered, you must establish that your spouse was in full financial control. Additionally, the IRS will consider other factors, such as abuse, divorce and compliance with income tax laws.
  • IRS relief: The IRS may have granted you innocent spouse relief. Therefore, you could also qualify for relief from self-assessed unpaid state tax liabilities. To qualify, you must file a valid joint tax return and submit an FTB 705 application, in addition to other conditions.

If you find yourself in trouble with taxes or the IRS, it’s easy to feel helpless, especially when the other person left you out of the loop. There’s plenty of reasons for why you might not be liable for their mishaps. It’s important to seek legal assistance and request relief as soon as the issue arises. There’s always hope for a solution.