Tax Relief for Domestic Violence Survivors

22:2 Domestic Violence Report 19 (December/January 2017)

6 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2017 Last revised: 30 Jun 2017

See all articles by Tracey M. Roberts

Tracey M. Roberts

Samford University, Cumberland School of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2016


When a married couple files a tax return under the “married filing jointly” designation, each spouse is held individually liable for the full amount of taxes due on their aggregate income for that year. The IRS has the authority to hold either spouse responsible for all of the outstanding taxes owed during the course of the marriage. Fortunately, there are several exceptions and provisions that provide relief from joint and several liability. This short article outlines, for domestic violence advocates, the exceptions to joint and several liability and special provisions for “Innocent Spouse Relief,” “Allocation of Deficiency,” and “Equitable Relief.” The article discusses recent changes to these provisions that further protect the domestic violence survivor and explains the caveats to these protections in community property states for survivors who are married but filing separately.

Keywords: income tax, joint and several liability, domestic violence, innocent spouse relief, allocation of deficiency, equitable relief

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Tracey, Tax Relief for Domestic Violence Survivors (August 1, 2016). 22:2 Domestic Violence Report 19 (December/January 2017), Available at SSRN:

Tracey Roberts (Contact Author)

Samford University, Cumberland School of Law ( email )

800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
United States
(303) 818-8589 (Phone)


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics