Innocent & Injured Spouse Defenses to Joint Tax Liability - 1 CLE hour
Married couples enjoy several tax benefits, but one of the offsetting downsides is joint and several liability for taxes. When one spouse is largely in control of marital finances, particularly when a family business operated in a pass-through entity is involved, the other spouse may be aware of unpaid tax liability, tax return filing issues, or other tax troubles. The “innocent” and “injured” spouse defenses are an opportunity to obtain certain relief – from tax liability, interest and penalties, or reallocation of tax payments – for the spouse who is not at fault. These defenses are effective tools for helping clients avoid financial and tax liability. This program will provide the non-tax expert a real-world guide to the types of relief available, eligibility for each, and how they are successfully asserted to tax liability.
• Use of “innocent spouse” defense to tax liability, interest, and penalties
• Types of relief depending on marital status – married, separated, divorced
• Relationship to “injured spouse” defense to allocation of tax overpayments
• Practical process and timing of asserting each type of defense
• Special issue when a family business is involved in case
• Issues for the non-requesting spouse – notice, opportunity to participate, appeal
• Collection, audit, and statute of limitations considerations
Stephen J. Turanchik is an attorney in the Los Angeles office of Paul Hastings, LLP, where his practice focuses on tax litigation at the state and federal levels as well as tax controversy work at the administrative levels. Before entering private practice, he is previously litigated for six years for the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, where he litigated over 300 tax cases in federal, bankruptcy, state and probate court. He has also lectured at Loyola Law School and California State University, Fullerton on topics relating to tax litigation and is chair-elect of the executive committee of the Los Angeles Bar Association’s Tax Section. Mr. Turanchik received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross, his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law.