IRS Commissioner Shulman to Review Innocent Spouse Rules

Courtesy of NAEA

IRS Commissioner Shulman sent two identical letters to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) in response to the April 18 Senate and House letters sent to the commissioner expressing concern on the two-year limit on the innocent spouse rules. In the April 18 letters to IRS, congressional members urged the IRS to review and amend the rules setting a two-year limit, starting with the first collection attempt, on the time taxpayers have to file for innocent spouse relief.

In his letter to Congress, Commissioner Shulman said he asked for a review of the rules in February “to ensure that we provide innocent spouses opportunities to present their claims and receive the relief they are entitled to under the law.
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” For a little history on the issue, Congress modified the innocent spouse rules in the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-206) but did not set a time limit for requesting relief.

But a decade ago, the Department of Treasury fixed the limit at two years from the date of the IRS first collection attempt.
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