Back to top

Section 6015(c)

Procedures to Limit Liability for Taxpayers No Longer Married or Living Apart

Section 6015(c), procedures to limit liability for taxpayer no longer married or not living together, is often referred to as “separation of liability”. The tests for relief under this section are:

  • A joint return was filed.
  • There is an understatement of tax attributable to the non-requesting spouse.
  • The requesting spouse must not have actual knowledge of the items creating the underpayment.
  • The electing spouse must pass a marriage test which is (a) divorced, (b) legally separated, (c) widowed, or (d) living apart for one year.
  • The claim must be filed within 2 years of the first collection activity.
  • The requesting spouse is not seeking a refund of any taxpayer paid towards the liability.


Innocent Spouse LLC specializes in this type of relief. The limitation of this section is that no refunds are permitted.  However, if you meet the qualifications, you have a good chance of getting relief.  Although innocent spouse issues are complex, separation of liability cases under Section 6015(c) are the simplest.  Therefore, the representation fee for these cases is generally less than under the other sections.