File Form 8857 to ask the IRS for the types of relief discussed in
this publication. You only need to file one Form 8857 even if you are
requesting relief for more than one tax year.
You must attach a statement to Form 8857 explaining why you believe
you qualify for relief. See the instructions for Form 8857 for more
The IRS will review your Form 8857, figure the understatement or
underpayment of tax and related interest and penalties, and let you
know if you qualify.
A completed Form 8857 is shown later.
When to file Form 8857.
You must file Form 8857 no later than 2 years after the date on
which the IRS first attempted to collect the tax from you after July
22, 1998. An example of an attempt to collect the tax from you is
garnishment of your wages.
IRS spousal notification.
The IRS is required to inform your spouse (or former spouse) if you
request innocent spouse relief or separation of liability, and to
allow your spouse (or former spouse) to participate in the
determination of the amount of relief from liability.
Tax Court Review of Request
After you file Form 8857 to request innocent spouse relief or
relief by separation of liability, you can ask the United States Tax
Court to review your request. You can ask the United States Tax Court
to review your request in the following two situations.
- You disagree with the IRS' determination notice telling you
the extent to which your request for relief has been denied.
- You have not received a determination notice from the IRS
within 6 months from the date you filed Form 8857.
The United States Tax Court is an independent judicial body and is
not part of the IRS.
You must file a petition with the United States Tax Court in order
for it to review your request for relief. You must file the petition
during the 90-day period beginning on the date the IRS
mails its determination notice to you. If you do not file a petition,
or you file it late, the Tax Court cannot review your request for
||You can get a copy of the rules for filing a petition by writing
to the Tax Court at the following address.
United States Tax Court
400 Second Street, NW
Washington, DC 20217