The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said that although the process to separate joint tax accounts in innocent spouse cases has been improved, additional action needs to be taken.The Internal Revenue Service separates joint tax accounts to help protect innocent spouses from enforcement action that may be taken against the spouse who actually owes the feds.

TIGTA said that the audit was initiated to evaluate a new “mirroring process” instituted as part of the IRS’s revamped computer system. While it was at one time difficult for the IRS to process innocent spouse claims and properly show each spouse’s separate tax liability (and thus making it difficult to stop collection actions being taken against one spouse, but not the other), the changes were designed to help the agency treat each taxpayer separately.

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