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The Internal Revenue Service has issued Revenue Procedure 2013–34, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2013–34_IRB/ar07.html. This revenue procedure expands how the IRS will take into account abuse and financial control by the nonrequesting spouse in determining whether equitable relief is warranted. It also broadens the availability of refunds in cases involving deficiencies. See Equitable Relief and Refunds , later.
For the latest information about developments related to Publication 971, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www.irs.gov/pub971. Or use your QR Reader app to scan the code below and be connected to the webpage.
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When you file a joint income tax return, the law makes both you and your spouse responsible for the entire tax liability. This is called joint and several liability. Joint and several liability applies not only to the tax liability you show on the return but also to any additional tax liability the IRS determines to be due, even if the additional tax is due to income, deductions, or credits of your spouse or former spouse. You remain jointly and severally liable for taxes, and the IRS can still collect them from you, even if you later divorce and the divorce decree states that your former spouse will be solely responsible for the tax.
In some cases, a spouse (or former spouse) will be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint tax return. Three types of relief are available to married persons who filed joint returns.
Innocent spouse relief.
Separation of liability relief.
Married persons who did not file joint returns, but who live in community property states, may also qualify for relief. See Community Property Laws , later.
This publication explains these types of relief, who may qualify for them, and how to get them. You can also use the Innocent Spouse Tax Relief Eligibility Explorer at IRS.gov by entering “Innocent Spouse” in the search box.
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