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What is innocent spouse relief?

Answer #57 -- ( Published 08/02/2005 04:04 PM | Updated 07/12/2017 10:41 AM )

What is innocent spouse relief?

Innocent spouse relief is a type of relief a spouse may request when they believe their spouse is solely responsible for paying the Illinois Individual Income Tax liability reported on the couple's joint return.

Generally, spouses who file a joint return for a tax year are each responsible for the entire combined tax liability regardless of which spouse earned the income required to be reported on the return. However, you may apply for innocent spouse relief if:

  • you filed a joint return with your spouse for a tax year;
  • at the time you signed the joint return, you were unaware that your spouse omitted income, claimed false deductions or credits, or otherwise prepared a fraudulent return; and
  • you believe the sole responsibility for paying the tax liability belongs to your spouse.

Please note that if we grant your request for innocent spouse relief, you may not be relieved of the entire liability. You may be held responsible for any tax, penalty, and interest on your separate portion of the tax liability.

For more information, see Publication 125, Injured and Innocent Spouse Relief.

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