Tax Relief for Spouses

There are two types of tax relief for spouses:

Injured spouse relief lets you reclaim money taken from your tax refund to cover your spouse's debts.

Innocent spouse relief relieves you from paying additional federal income tax owed by your spouse due to errors on a joint tax return.

On This Page

What to Do If You Receive a Notice
Injured vs. Innocent Spouse Relief
If You Didn't Consent to File a Joint Return

What to Do If You Receive a Notice

If you receive a notice that you owe additional tax on a joint return or your refund was reduced, promptly follow the instructions in your letter. You may also learn that you owe additional taxes because of an audit.

Request innocent spouse relief as soon as you learn of the taxes due.

Injured vs. Innocent Spouse Relief

Injured spouse relief can help you reclaim your share of a federal tax refund that was applied to your spouse's taxes or other debts.

Find more about injured spouse relief.

Innocent spouse relief can relieve you from paying additional taxes if your spouse did something wrong on your joint tax return and you didn't know about the errors.

Find more about  innocent spouse relief .

If You Didn't Consent to File a Joint Return

If you didn't sign or consent to file a joint return with your spouse, your joint tax election is invalid. This isn't a type of innocent spouse relief, but you can limit your responsibility for your spouse's taxes by:

  • Following the instructions on the IRS notice you received
  • Calling the phone number on the notice