What you should know if you’re a victim of domestic abuse

What you should know if you’re a victim of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse often includes control over finances. An important part of managing finances is understanding your tax rights. For example, you have the right to expect the

IRS to consider facts and circumstances that might affect your taxes.

You also have the right to:

  • File a separate return even if you’re married.
  • Review the entire tax return before signing a joint return.
  • Review supporting documents for a joint return.
  • Refuse to sign a joint return.
  • Request more time to file your tax return.
  • Get copies of prior year tax returns from the IRS.
  • Seek independent legal advice.

Innocent Spouse

If you’re considered an innocent spouse, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest and penalties if your spouse (or former spouse) improperly reported items or omitted items on your tax return. Generally, the tax, interest and penalties that qualify for relief can only be collected from your spouse (or former spouse.). However, you’re jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest and penalties that don’t qualify for relief. The IRS can collect these amounts from either you or your spouse (or former spouse.)

Injured Spouse

You may be considered an injured spouse if your share of a refund on a joint tax return was or is expected to be applied against your spouse’s past-due federal debts. These debts can include federal debts, state taxes, child support and spousal support payments. If you’re considered an injured spouse, you may be entitled to receive your share of the refund.

IRS.gov Resources
Taxpayers Who are Victims of Domestic Abuse Should Know Their Rights – Tax
Tip 2017-62
Tax Information for Innocent Spouses
Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals
Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief

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