What is innocent spouse relief? Innocent spouse relief may be granted to someone who filled a tax return with a spouse (or ex spouse) without knowing that the return did not claim income from the spouse. Innocent spouse relief removes the obligation of the taxpayer to pay tax, penalties, and interest associated with a jointly filed return.
How Can Innocent Spouse Relief Assist Survivors?
If you were not aware of certain sources of income that your spouse (or ex spouse) had and you filed a joint return omitting that income you can apply for innocent spouse relief. This can remove the obligation to pay tax, penalties, and interest associated with the income you did not have knowledge of.
If you did have knowledge of the income, but signed the return out of fear for your safety there are other options available for you.
Innocent spouse relief applies if you filed a joint return omitting income you didn't know about
It needs to be applied for
Your spouse or ex spouse will still be liable for the tax and associated penalties and interest with the income
If you don't qualify there may be other options
IRS Guidance https://www.irs.gov/individuals/innocent-spouse-relief