chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
May 26, 2022 In the Stacks

Tax Section Publishes New Edition of Innocent Spouse Relief Guide

This spring, the ABA Tax Section is publishing the third edition of A Practitioner’s Guide to Innocent Spouse Relief, by Christine S. Speidel and Audrey Patten. The book takes the reader step-by-step through the innocent spouse claim process, from information gathering, to administrative proceedings, to determination, to trial, and to refund relief.

Originally authored by Robert Nadler, the guide is written to assist attorneys who represent clients in controversies involving Section 6015, which expanded innocent spouse relief for many taxpayers. Since the section was enacted in 1998, its provisions have generated a good deal of tax litigation, and the book draws on that history to provide proven strategies for winning Section 6015 cases, with special emphasis added to issues involving low income taxpayers and those suffering domestic abuse.

In this book’s first update since 2014, Speidel and Patten account for important case law and administrative developments in the wake of Rev. Proc. 2013-34, as well as legislative changes to Section 6015, incorporating updates in the Code, Tax Court and Circuit Court case law, and IRS practices, and alerting readers to unresolved issues likely to be litigated over the coming years under the Taxpayer First Act of 2019.

A Practitioner’s Guide to Innocent Spouse Relief was an indispensable resource to me as a new tax attorney. and I am proud to continue Bob Nadler’s work ensuring that practitioners have the tools to zealously pursue relief for their clients from liabilities that are often financially and emotionally devastating,” said Speidel.

“This update is particularly timely as the Taxpayer First Act has changed best practices for representing taxpayers in the administrative relief process,” added Patten.

The new edition also offers significant new material, with three new chapters and substantial revisions to others. The new chapter “Community Property States” addresses the intersection of community property taxation and relief under Section 6015 and guides the practitioner through relief from community property taxation under Section 66. Recognizing that an increasing number of states have adopted procedures for spousal relief from state tax liabilities, the new chapter “State Innocent Spouse Relief” summarizes relief available at the state level, to provide a starting point for practitioners. And the new chapter “Collection Alternatives When Innocent Spouse Fails” renders the book a more comprehensive resource.

“This book is an invaluable guide to practitioners who concentrate in tax controversy practice,” said Nina Olson, executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights. “It will also guide the family law practitioner whose clients may face tax liabilities, and it will be a refresher for academics and students alike on the current state of the law relating to IRC sections 6015 and 66. Best of all, it is chock full of cases and examples that illustrate the important legal issues at stake.”

Updated by experienced litigators, the book is designed for litigators and all practitioners assisting clients in innocent spouse cases. A Practitioner’s Guide to Innocent Spouse Relief, third edition, is part of the Tax Practitioner Guide Series and is available for purchase in the ABA Store in paperback and ebook formats.

The material in all ABA publications is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. Request reprint permission here.