The Internal Revenue Service has redesigned Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to help reduce follow up questions and taxpayer burden. The form will ask more questions initially, but collecting critical information early in the process will allow faster processing of the request. The IRS says that the new design will eliminate an estimated 30,000 follow-up letters annually, resulting in a reduced burden and quicker answer for taxpayers and less cost for the government. When a taxpayer files a joint return, both spouses are jointly and individually responsible for the tax. If one taxpayer believes that only his or her spouse or former spouse should be responsible for the tax, the taxpayer can request innocent spouse relief. The redesigned form will be easier to understand and to complete and will help educate taxpayers about the process. Previously, the questionnaire was separate from the form.
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