This part explains how Janie Boulder fills out Form 8857 to request
innocent spouse relief.
Janie and Joe Boulder filed a joint tax return for 1998. Joe did
not report a $5,000 award he won that year. They received an IRS
Notice of Deficiency for additional tax of $650 and penalties and
interest of $165.
Janie applies the conditions listed under Innocent Spouse
Relief on page 3 to see if she qualifies for relief.
- Janie meets the first condition because the joint tax return
they filed has an understatement of tax.
- Janie believes she meets the second condition. She did not
know about the award and had no reason to know about it because of the
secretive way Joe conducted his financial affairs.
- Janie believes she meets the third condition. She believes
it would be unfair to be held liable for the tax because she did not
benefit from the award. Joe spent it on personal items for his use
Because Janie believes she qualifies for innocent spouse
relief, she files Form 8857 with the IRS. She fills in her name,
address, social security number, and daytime phone number. She fills
out the rest of the form as follows:
Janie enters "1998" because this is the tax year for which she
is requesting relief.
She enters the name, address, social security number, and daytime
phone number of her spouse.
She checks the Yes box because she received an IRS
Notice of Deficiency for additional tax.
Janie checks the No box on each of these lines because
she and Joe were not divorced, separated, or living apart during the
last 12 months.
Janie does not check the box on this line because she checked the
No boxes on lines 4, 5, and 6.
Janie checks theYes box on this line because the income
items all belonged to her husband. She writes a statement (not
illustrated) explaining why she feels she qualifies for innocent
Janie checks the No box on this line because she does
not have an underpayment of tax.
Signing and mailing Form 8857.
Janie signs and dates the form. She attaches the explanatory
statement (not illustrated) required by the Form 8857 instructions.
Finally, she mails the form to the IRS employee named in the Notice of
Deficiency before the end of the 90-day period specified in the
Boulder's filled-in Form 8857