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Innocent Spouse Relief

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Innocent spouse relief may be granted to persons who believe they are wrongly held accountable for a tax debt incurred by a spouse or former spouse. The Department Secretary may decide that it is unfair to hold the spouse or former spouse of a taxpayer liable for payment of all or part of any unpaid tax, assessment or other tax deficiency. Although all facts and circumstances are considered, the spouse or former spouse must prove his or her entitlement to the relief requested.

Some factors in granting innocent spouse status are:

  • Did the spouse or former spouse know about the tax liability at the time it arose?
  • Did the spouse or former spouse have a meaningful opportunity to contest the assessment of tax at the time the assessment was made?
  • Has the spouse or former spouse cooperated with the Department in collection and compliance efforts?
  • Can the state protect its interests without pursuing active collection efforts against the spouse or former spouse, including collection efforts against the other spouse or former spouse?

If you believe you might qualify for innocent spouse relief, contact your local office for the application form and to discuss your situation.

Granting innocent spouse relief does not apply to offsets of refunds or credits collected on community debts.


IRS Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief (And Separation of Liability and Equitable Relief)
FYI-310: Divorce and Your New Mexico Income Tax
Tax Administration Act

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