Understand why there is a need for innocent spouse relief.
The Internal Revenue Code provides rules for when a husband and a wife may file a joint Federal income tax return. Where a couple jointly files a Federal income tax return, the husband and wife are generally jointly and severally liable for the tax shown as due on the return or any deficiency determined to be due regarding that return. Thus, the Internal Revenue Service may pursue either or both spouses for any tax owed regarding a joint return. The general rule of joint and several liability sometimes yields undesirable or inequitable results to one spouse. To alleviate the harshness of the general joint and several liability rule, Congress enacted a set of rules to allow a requesting spouse to obtain relief from joint and several liability. This white paper reviews terminology and steps to take when representing the requesting spouse or the nonrequesting Spouse and/or intervenor.
President of Agostino & Associates, a law firm in Hackensack, New Jersey specializing in civil and white collar criminal litigation, tax controversies and tax planning
Prior to entering private practice, he was an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service’s District Counsel in Springfield, Illinois and Newark, New Jersey; he also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, where he prosecuted primarily criminal tax cases
Frequent speaker and author on tax controversy and litigation matters
Serves on the advisory board of the Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure; actively involved with the American Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association
President of the Taxpayers Assistance Corp., which provides tax and legal advice to low income taxpayers in the NY/NJ area
J.D. degree, New York Law School; B.A. degree, City College of New York; LL.M. degree in taxation, New York University School of Law