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Innocent spouse relief.

Searching the Internet under "innocent spouse relief" will turn up many organizations, CPAs, attorneys and others offering to assist a taxpayer with an innocent spouse claim. IRS Pub. 971, Innocent Spouse Relief (And Separation of Liability and Equitable Relief), explains the various types of relief, who may qualify and how to apply. Although the current innocent spouse rules under Sec. 6015 have been effective for determining unpaid balances due the IRS as of July 22, 1998 and Federal tax liabilities arising after that date, many cases have recently been decided by the Tax Court and district courts.

In her 2006 annual report, Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate, included innocent spouse cases as among the most litigated; see National Taxpayer Advocate's 2006 Annual Report to Congress, at,,id=165806,00.html.

An analysis of recent cases reveals that the Service interprets the rules as narrowly as possible. This is especially true of the "equitable" relief cases using Sec. 6015(f), which Congress intended for cases that do not fit the other two forms of innocent spouse protection: innocent spouse relief and relief by separation of liability.

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Title Annotation:Tax Practice & Procedures
Author:Markman, Carol
Publication:The Tax Adviser
Date:Apr 1, 2007
Previous Article:Superseding returns and the SOL.
Next Article:Taxpayer losses.

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