Innocent Spouse Relief in Bethesda

& Finding an Innocent Spouse Relief Lawyer

Under normal circumstances, Bethesda spouses are jointly and severally liable for any taxes due on a joint tax return. If one spouse fails to pay, the other spouse is legally responsible for the entire tax debt. However, there are certain situations in which this rule may not be fair. For example, if one spouse was unaware of the tax debt or could not pay due to financial hardship, they may not be held responsible. 

This is where innocent spouse relief comes in. If you can prove you meet the criteria for innocent spouse relief, you may be able to avoid paying the taxes that are owed. To qualify, you must show that you did not know about the tax debt and that it would have been unreasonable for you to know about it. You must also show that you are not financially capable of paying the tax debt. If you can meet these criteria, you may be able to get innocent spouse relief and avoid paying the taxes that are owed.

Applying for innocent spouse relief in Bethesda can be a complicated process, and it is important to understand all the steps involved to ensure you are eligible for relief:

  • The first step is determining whether you meet innocent spouse relief requirements. To qualify, you must have filed a joint tax return with your spouse and must not have been aware of, and had no reason to know, of any underpayment or inaccuracy on the return.
  • If you believe you meet the criteria for innocent spouse relief in Bethesda, you must file Form 8857 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This form allows you to request relief from liability for taxes, interest, and penalties that may be owed due to your spouse’s actions.
  • Once you have filed Form 8857, the IRS will review your case and determine whether you are eligible for relief. If you are approved for innocent spouse relief, you will be responsible only for the taxes you would owe if you had filed a separate return.

The process of applying for innocent spouse relief can be complex, but it is crucial to understand all the steps involved to be certain you are eligible for this type of relief.

For married couples who have filed joint tax returns, both spouses are legally responsible for any taxes due. However, there are circumstances in which one spouse may be unaware of or unable to control the financial activities of the other. In these cases, the IRS may provide relief to the innocent spouse through what is known as innocent spouse relief. This relief can be granted in situations where the other spouse has:

  • Unlawfully diverted funds. This can happen if your spouse uses joint funds to pay for personal debts or expenses without your knowledge. Some signs that this has occurred include your spouse suddenly having less money available, joint accounts being emptied without your knowledge, or bills being paid later than usual.
  • Failed to report income. This can happen if your spouse earns income but does not report it on the joint tax return. It may be difficult to catch, but some signs that it has occurred include a sudden change in your spouse’s lifestyle or a decrease in the amount of money available.
  • Filed false documents. This can happen if your spouse files false documents to receive a tax refund or avoid paying taxes.
  • Made fraudulent claims. Some examples of fraudulent claims include claiming false deductions, credits, or expenses that you are not entitled to.

Overall, innocent spouse relief can provide significant financial relief to an individual in Bethesda who would otherwise be held responsible for the taxes their spouse owes. It can also help to preserve the integrity of marriages that have been affected by financial difficulties or safeguard either spouse from unfair financial harm. As a result, innocent spouse relief is an important tool that can help protect taxpayers from unfair tax liabilities outside their personal control.

Delia Law Can Help You With Innocent Spouse Relief in Bethesda

Delia Law can help you with innocent spouse relief if you have been without reasonable knowledge of your spouse’s underpayment of taxes. Under the current law, if your spouse omits income on your tax return, and the omission is significant, you may be held liable for the understatement, plus interest and penalties. This can put a tremendous financial burden on you, even though you were unaware of the omission.

The good news is that there are options available for innocent spouses who didn’t know about and had no reason to know about their spouse’s underpayment. Delia Law will work with you to file for innocent spouse relief and get the best possible outcome for your situation. You shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of your spouse’s mistakes, and with our help, you won’t have to. Contact us today to learn more.

Maryland-Specific Tax Laws


Maryland has a progressive tax system, which means the higher an individual’s income is, the higher the percentage they will pay in taxes. Maryland has special tax benefits for military retirees, lower income families, those paying for childcare, as well as for those aged 65 and older.

There are four types of taxes in Maryland:

  • State income tax. The state tax rate for personal income tax begins at 2%. This is applied to anyone making under $1,000 per year in annual income. It increases up to 5.75% for anyone making over $250,000 annually. This is one of the lower state income tax rates in the United States.
  • Local income tax. There is also a local income tax, which is levied by counties and cities. For convenience, these are withheld during income tax season by the state, and they vary based on the locality. For example, if you live in Allegany County, you paid a .0305 tax rate in 2021. This differs from residents of Baltimore County, who had a .0320 rate. It is important to note that this income is based on the county you live in, not where you work.
  • Sales tax. With each purchase in Maryland of a good or service, a 6% sales tax is automatically applied. This does not include every purchase. Groceries, prescription drugs, and gasoline are a few examples of items not subject to sales tax. However, a business is required to collect a 9% tax on any alcoholic beverages sold.
  • Property tax. You must pay property taxes in Maryland as well, and the tax rates vary by county. The average effective tax rate is 1.06%. While this might seem low, it is balanced by the high property values in the state. The median home value in Maryland is currently over $400,000 and varies based on proximity to the city of Maryland and other populated areas.
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