Innocent Spouse

A marriage may not be everlasting; however, the tax problems created by your spouse will remain. These problems can be destructive to a spouse who is trying to rebuild his/her life after separation and divorce.

Divorce does not relieve a spouse from liability on a joint return filed prior to divorce. You may no longer have any involvement with the ex-spouse; however, you could end up paying his/her tax liability.

Husbands and wives who file a joint return are each individually responsible for the accuracy of the return and for the full tax liability. If you sign a joint return, the IRS may be able to collect any tax relating to that return from you, even if your spouse was the one who reported incorrectly. This is true even when only one spouse earned the wages or income which is shown on the return. The IRS can collect any taxes they claim are due from one spouse, even if all of the income was earned by the other spouse. This is “joint and several liability.”

The innocent spouse rules in which a spouse can be relieved of liability for taxes assessed by the IRS are complicated. Innocent spouse relief may be available even if you’re still married, and living with the spouse responsible for payment of the taxes.

Qualifying for innocent spouse relief can be difficult as the rules are very complex. The facts of each individual situation must be determined and only a person who is knowledgeable about the rules can determine if you qualify. The main question is how much you knew about your spouse’s non-payment of taxes or omission of income. If the IRS is attempting to collect taxes from you because of your spouse’s tax debt, you should have your situation reviewed by a person with knowledge of the innocent spouse rules.

We can help you determine if you qualify for innocent spouse relief. The final determination of whether you qualify for innocent spouse relief is the Tax Court in most situations. The IRS is not the final entity that determines if you qualify.

The various sections under which you may qualify are:

  • Innocent spouse relief if still married
  • Separate liability if divorced, separated for more than twelve months, or filing for divorce
  • Equitable relief
  • Relief for taxes due on partnership items

“I had tried through no avail to apply for innocent spouse relief on my own on two separate occasions and both times this IRS turned me down. Then a friend a mine referred me to Charles Montecino a Certified Public Accountant. Charles became my power of attorney and from there got the ball rolling. He is very knowledgeable in all tax areas including innocent spouse relief and is constantly attending seminars and classes to stay on top of things. Well a few months later I received the decision of not guilty and received all the monies due me from all the years my income tax was withheld from me and was also told that nothing would be held from me in the future. I owe everything to Charles Montecino — I would still be fighting a never ending battle if it weren’t for him. He has also done income taxes for other members of my family and made them aware of things they never knew they were entitled to therefore making their refunds even larger than expected. He is honest, friendly, very thorough and very knowledgeable in his field and I recommend him to anyone.

Thanks for all you’ve done for me.”



“In this cold and impersonal world we live in, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a minute to write and let you know how thankful I am to you and your firm. When I was told by the “best” that there was nothing anyone could do for me, short of a miracle, you came into my path.

After two years of high priced tax attorneys and mounds of paper work, I was back at square one and could see no light at the end of the tunnel. I was going to lose everything because of my husbands business tax mistakes. Your ad in the newspaper was short sweet and accurate. . . . You delivered results. After one consultation with you, papers and documentation were presented and you ran with it.

In less than six months, you achieved the impossible, an Offer-In-Compromise that gave me my life back and a chance to start fresh for my children.

Even after the deal was completed, you were there for me with an immediate answer to any question. Tina couldn’t be any more professional and always relayed my fears to you, to which you quickly responded.

I have found a “home” for all future returns to make sure everything is always correct and accurately reported. Your guidance gives me peace of mind. I will never hesitate when someone asks regarding taxes to pass your name on to them.

In closing, there is no other way to say “thank you” from the bottom of my heart instead of my pocketbook!”

[Dear Charlie,] Just a note to let you know [how] much your tax knowledge helped us with a tax debt. With your assistance, the total due was paid off almost four years earlier than expected (and at a greatly reduced cost.) Again, thanks.”


We can lead you through these knotty rules and qualifications. Don’t be a victim of your spouse or ex-spouse’s tax debts.

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Our trained CPAs and certified tax resolution specialists work diligently to find the best outcome we can on your tax issues. Call us at 856-256-1490 or email to set up your no-cost, no-obligation, no-pressure complimentary consultation today.