Appeals Court upholds IRS’s Time Limit on Spousal Relief Requests

Married joint return filers are jointly and severally liable for the tax arising from their returns. Innocent spouses may
request relief from this liability in certain circumstances. An IRS regulation states that a request
for equitable innocent spouse relief must be no later than two years from the first collection
activity against the spouse. The Tax Court had found this regulation invalidly imposed a time
limit. However, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has reversed the Tax Court and upheld
the regulation (so has the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit).

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