When you file a joint tax return with your spouse, you are each equally liable for the tax, penalties, and interest for the particular joint tax year.
This is called joint and several liability.
- Joint and Several Liability
- Joint and several liability means both spouses are responsible for the entire amount of tax, penalty, or interest shown on the return and any additional tax liability from the return even if the additional tax is due to the income, deductions, or credits of your spouse or former spouse.
You are still responsible for all taxes, even if you later divorce and the divorce decree says your former spouse is responsible.
However, you may apply for innocent spouse relief in Montana if you’ve already received federal relief from the IRS.
Qualifying for Innocent Spouse Relief
To apply for innocent spouse relief, provide a written explanation including:
- The tax years you’re requesting relief for,
- The reasons you’re requesting relief,
- Complete copies of all correspondence sent to and received from the IRS
- The IRS documents granting you relief for the tax period you’re applying for,
- Any court order stating your spouse or former spouse is responsible for paying the Montana individual income tax liability, and
- Any other information showing why relief should be granted as required in 15-30-2646, MCA.
We will consider the facts and circumstances you presented and determine if it is unfair to hold you responsible for some or all of the tax, penalty, and interest. If we do, we will grant you relief.
We base our relief on the same circumstances as the IRS. Montana state relief can’t be more than the federal relief.
If you disagree with our decision, you may file a tax appeal.