IRS Throws out 2-Year Statute of Limitations for Certain Innocent Spouse Claims

Today the IRS announced that it is removing the two-year limitations period for Innocent Spouse relief sought under the equitable provisions of Revenue Code section 6015(f). This change is effective immediately and also applies to pending cases and apparently even claims that were denied solely on the grounds that the statute of limitations period had expired. The standard requirements of an Innocent Spouse claim are found in section 6015(b)-(c). But if those provisions do not apply and it would be inequitable to deny Innocent Spouse relief given all the facts and circumstances, the petitioner may be granted relief under subsection (f). Prior to today’s announcement, a petitioner seeking relief under subsection (f) had two years to do it just like is required under 6015(b)-(c). This change should expand the availability of Innocent Spouse relief which is granted to taxpayers who can show that they did not know, and did not have reason to know that their spouse had either underpaid the joint taxes or had understated the income reported on the joint return.

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