Do you know about the tax relief available for survivors of domestic violence? The IRS has put out a fact sheet specifically for domestic violence victims, explaining that taxpayers have the right to:
- File a separate return even if they’re married
- Review the entire tax return before signing a joint return
- Refuse to sign a joint return
- Request more time to file their tax return
- Ask the IRS for copies of prior-year tax returns
- Seek independent legal advice
The IRS also offers a separate form called a Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, which is Form 8857. If a survivor and a spouse file a joint return and the survivor is not aware that the abuser has not paid the taxes, the survivor can fill out the form to be relieved of liability. It’s a right for all taxpayers, but it can be very helpful to someone under an abuser’s financial control.
For more critical information on tax filing for survivors, check out the link below from Indiana Legal Services.