Proposed regulations: Relief from joint and several liability, married persons

Proposed regulations

The Treasury Department and IRS today released for publication in the Federal Register proposed regulations for certain married individuals who filed a joint income tax return and later seek relief from joint and several liability.

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The preamble to today’s release states that these regulations reflect changes made by legislation enacted in 2006 and by case law. Read the proposed regulations [PDF 265 KB]


The proposed regulations would revise existing regulations to include additional guidance when a spouse requesting relief from joint and several liability did not “meaningfully participate” in a prior court proceeding.  This additional guidance on the doctrine of res judicata includes a list of acts to be considered in making that determination. Other guidance includes underpayment or unpaid tax definitions, rules regarding credits and refunds, expansion of the rule that penalties and interest are not separate relief items, incorporation of an administrative rule related to attribution of erroneous items, and a revision of the collection and suspension rules of the collection statute.   

Comments and requests for a public hearing to address the proposed regulations must be received by a date that is 90 days after November 20, 2015 (the date when these regulations will appear in the Federal Register).

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