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The IRS is expanding their innocent spouse relief program and making it easier to qualify for what is called  equitable relief.

Getting married or divorced doesn’t always mean that you have to take on the liability of your spouse (or former) spouse for a problem they alone created. Yet the IRS admits that many taxpayers never realize they qualify for innocent spouse relief.

That’s why it’s so important to know your rights when dealing with IRS on any kind of serious tax problem like an IRS levy, lien or audit.

Here are the details from a recent broadcast from the IRS (listen to the short podcast or read the transcript from the IRS below).

IRS Expands Innocent Spouse Relief Program in 2012

IRS Audio Transcript

Hi, I’m Teresa, and I work for the Internal Revenue Service. If you qualify for innocent spouse relief, the IRS has made an important change that can help you. From now on, the two year time limit no longer applies to a particular type of innocent spouse request. This is the type of request seeking what is known as equitable relief, the kind of relief that is often considered when people are faced with difficult or intimidating situations.

For example, this may apply to victims of domestic abuse. Now, if you qualify for equitable relief you no longer have a two year deadline to make that request. In addition to future requests, this change applies to requests that we are currently considering, and if you’ve been previously denied relief based solely on the two year time limit, you can reapply for relief using form 8857 which is the request for innocent spouse relief. But, if your case is currently suspended, you don’t have to reapply because we will automatically take another look at your case.

Now here is a word of caution. You should also know that the two year time limit continues to apply to other types of innocent spouse requests and that other restrictions and time limits set by law apply to any innocent spouse request. To find out more check out our tax information for innocent spouse’s webpage, you can find it at

Link to original IRS audio

Disclaimer: This tax audio recording is not owned, reviewed or endorsed by tax attorney Jeff Fouts (, and is provided here for informational purposes only. Neither the creator or the publisher of this audio are affiliated with the Fouts Law Firm. A link to the original audio appears adjacent to all audio if you wish to contact the author. Thank you.

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