Senators Urge IRS to Extend Time for Innocent Spouse Relief

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Senators Urge IRS to Extend Time for Innocent Spouse Relief

Accounting Today – Three influential senators have written to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman, asking him to re-evaluate the two-year time limit for innocent spouses to request tax relief.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called on the IRS on Monday to conduct a review of the regulations limiting the time that innocent spouses have to file for equitable relief from joint tax liability. Innocent spouse provisions excuse a spouse from liability for unpaid taxes on a joint return if they did not know or have reason to know of the unpaid taxes when the return was signed.

The senators said that providing only two years to file for innocent spouse relief runs counter to the spirit of equitable relief, which was designed to act as a “safety valve” for innocent spouses, taking into account all the facts and circumstances of each case.

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