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When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Tax Innocent Spouse Defenses Lawyers

Understanding Tax Disputes and Innocent Spouse Relief


One of the most common issues that tax attorneys help their clients with is disputes from the IRS. The IRS is the federal agency that governs tax collection, and they have ample resources available to go after people who evade taxes. If you have tax liabilities with the IRS, you might not be sure how to pay them. The issue is compounded by the fact that back taxes come with interest, penalties, and potentially huge fines.

Spousal Liability in Tax Matters

There are some cases in which you are not the one who committed the tax fraud at all. Instead, you find yourself liable for back taxes because of the actions of an ex-spouse. When you two filed at least one of your joint returns, your spouse purposefully misrepresented their income or took a deduction they weren’t qualified for.

Since joint tax returns combine the income and assets of a married couple, both spouses are considered equally liable for the discrepancies. This liability continues even once you’ve divorced your spouse. You will be liable for the taxes you paid, any taxes you didn’t pay, and any penalties you incur because your household didn’t pay your full share of taxes.

Legislation and Innocent Spouse Relief

There has been legislation passed by Congress to help protect innocent spouses. If a spouse can prove that they had no knowledge of the wrongdoing and were not part of the scheme to defraud the government, then they won’t need to take on half of the tax burden. Instead, all of the back taxes and additional fines will be the responsibility of the spouse who committed the tax fraud.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

Seeking Legal Assistance

If you are an innocent spouse who is now facing serious tax problems because of your partner’s actions, it’s important to talk to a lawyer. They can help you establish your case and explain how to have your defense approved so you can find relief.

Qualifying for Relief

In order to qualify for relief as an innocent spouse, you must prove several elements of the situation. These include:

  • You and your spouse filed a joint return together.
  • One spouse put incorrect information on the return so that the tax burden would be lower. This might involve underreporting income, failing to report assets, or taking deductions they didn’t qualify for.
  • The other spouse signed the return without knowing that the taxes were understated. They also had no reason that they would reasonably know about the issue.

Given the situation, holding both spouses equally accountable is unfair. Instead, only the spouse that committed the crime should be made to pay the extra taxes and penalties.

Proving the Case

Every one of these aspects must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If you can’t prove any of the conditions, you won’t be able to get tax relief with an innocent spouse defense. Your lawyer can help you determine what evidence you have to prove the elements of the circumstances and defend your case.

Evidence and Documentation

The first element of the case is easy to prove. You will only receive a bill for a tax liability if you and your spouse filed a joint tax return. The one exception is if you own taxable property together, and you are now being billed for fraudulent filings your spouse made about it.

If that’s the case, you can’t use the innocent spouse defense. You have to have a tax return as evidence. But there are other parts of tax law that might help you.

Defining “Grossly Erroneous”

With the second point, there are definitions of terms that need to be met. The specific term is “grossly erroneous” information, which can be anything in two broad categories. One of the categories is omission of income that the guilty spouse has. The other is the use of deductions or tax credits that the guilty spouse took even though they did not qualify for them.

Examples and Explanations

If any liability was already disclosed on the tax form, you can’t use the innocent spouse defense. The defense only applies to tax liabilities that you find out about after the fact, because of the misinformation your spouse put on your tax return.

Some examples of when a deduction is erroneous include:

  • When it is a falsely claimed expense that was never actually paid
  • When it is not a deductible expense according to explicit language in the deduction worksheet
  • When there isn’t a legal argument that supports the deduction

Judicial Consideration

In order for the problems to qualify as “grossly erroneous,” the judge must determine that the tax evasion was purposeful. Mistakes are not applicable. If your spouse made a mistake on your tax return, you will still be liable for the shared burden because the innocent spouse defense doesn’t apply.

Legal Counsel and Defense

Your lawyer will need to use your messages and documentation to show that you didn’t know about the issue as well.

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