Taxpayers Who are Victims of Domestic Abuse Should Know Their Rights


Taxpayers have the right to:

  • File a separate return even if they’re married
  • Review the entire tax return before signing a joint return
  • Review supporting documents for a joint return
  • Refuse to sign a joint return
  • Request more time to file their tax return
  • Get copies of prior year tax returns for the IRS
  • Seek independent legal advice.


Taxpayers also have the right to request relief from the liability shown on a joint return. This is known as innocent spouse relief.

To apply for innocent spouse relief, a taxpayer fills out Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief.

IRS Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief