How to Request Innocent Spouse Relief: Filing IRS Form 8857 & Letters

request innocent spouse reliefRequesting innocent spouse relief the correct way the first time is extremely important. If you request is denied then it is very unlikely that you will be able to file for innocent spouse relief for the years you filed for ever again. This filing is tedious and time consuming and it is important to do get the filing right the first time. Before filing it is important to make sure you meet the requirements for at least one of the different forms of innocent spouse relief. The types of innocent spouse relief requirements are the following:

  1. Innocent Spouse Relief Requirements
  2. Relief by Separation of Liability Requirements
  3. Equitable Relief Requirements

If you meet the requirements for any of the three types of innocent spouse relief you still file the same way for each of them, the only difference is the approach you take in your answers to questions and really stressing how you meet specific requirements.

Before you start the filing for innocent spouse relief it is a good idea to understand how exactly you meet the specific requirements for the relief you seek. You should go through the requirements and write down examples of how you meet each requirement. These notes that you take should be used when you are doing the filing. There will be specific questions that are geared towards making sure you meet the requirements and when you see these questions you can use your notes to help answer the questions and this ensures that your answers are in line with exactly what the IRS is looking for and this will greatly increase your chances of receiving this type of relief.

Required & Suggested Documents

  1. IRS Form 8857: Request for Innocent Spouse Relief

    This is a four page required document for filing for innocent spouse relief. There are many questions asking about your situation and how you specifically meet the requirements for the years you seek the relief. This form also requests additional additional documents to be attached if applicable. When filling this form out keep in mind exactly what is required by the IRS in order to receive innocent spouse relief and how exactly you meet those requirements, if you answer one question wrong it can eliminate your chances of receiving innocent spouse relief. The IRS even asks questions on your education, this information is mainly used to determine if you are educated enough or have had enough business experience to know if something was wrong with your tax filing.

  2. Innocent Spouse Relief Letter

    A letter is not always required to send but sometimes it may help strengthen your case. This is only required if you were a victim of abuse with your spouse/ex-spouse. Some areas of IRS Form 8857 don't allow much in writing to completely explain yourself. A letter can help with giving more support as to exactly why you qualify for innocent spouse relief. It is important to stress the main reasons why you qualify. The more information you can provide the better. For example, if you were a victim of abuse it would also be a good idea to show a doctors note or police reports to strengthen your case even more.

Once you have completed the above you should send your documents to the following location:

IRS - IRS Top 840-F
Innocent Spouse
PO BOX 120053
Covington, KY 41012