Figure B. Do You Qualify for Separation of Liability Relief?

Summary: This flowchart is used to determine if the taxpayer (who filed a joint return) qualifies for separation of liability relief regarding the understated tax due.

Start

This is the start of the flowchart.

Decision (1)

Did you file a joint return for the year you want relief?

IF Yes Continue To Decision (2)
IF No Continue To Process (a)

Process (a)

You do not qualify for separation of liability relief, but you may qualify for relief from liability arising from community property law. See Community Property Laws earlier.

Continue To End

Decision (2)

Will you file Form 8857 no later than 2 years after the first IRS attempt to collect the tax from you that occurs after July 22, 1998?

Footnote: Collection activities that may start the 2-year period are described earlier under How To Request Relief.

IF Yes Continue To Decision (3)
IF No Continue To Process (d)

Process (d)

You do not qualify for separation of liability relief but you may qualify for equitable relief. See Figure C later.

Decision (3)

Does your joint return have an understated tax?

IF Yes Continue To Decision (4)
IF No Continue To Process (b)

Process (b)

You do not qualify for relief by separation of liability; go to Figure C.

Continue To End

Decision (4)

Are you still married to the spouse with whom you filed the joint return? (If that spouse is deceased, answer “No.”)

IF No Continue To Process (c)
IF Yes Continue To Decision (5)

Process (c)

You may qualify for separation of liability relief.

Decision (5)

Are you legally separated from, or no longer married to, the spouse with whom you filed a joint return?

IF Yes Continue To Process (c)
IF No Continue To Decision (6)

Process (c)

You may qualify for separation of liability relief.

Continue To End

Decision (6)

Were you a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857?

IF Yes Continue To Process (b)
IF No Continue To Process (c)

End

This is the ending of the flowchart.