The death of a spouse creates a lot of emotional turmoil that can make it hard to focus on little else. As a surviving widow, the last thing on your mind are the tax issues you must address. That being said, the death of your spouse will eventually lead to tax responsibilities you must face. For instance, you may discover that your spouse owes money to the IRS, which could leave you in an even tougher position than you are already in. Thankfully, understanding the tax process may help you minimize any debts that now befall you.

Three Forms of Relief

Upon the death of your spouse, you have three relief options you might consider to help you successfully navigate the tax debts you now face. Keep in mind that dealing with tax debt is often tricky. You may come across terminology or paperwork that appears confusing at best. Fortunately, a tax relief professional can assist you in filing the correct paperwork based on your situation.

Speak to a debt relief expert about the three forms of relief to find out which might be best for you. Your options include the following:

  • Innocent spouse relief
    • This is best used when there are errors on the return attributed only to your spouse (failure to report income or mistakenly claimed deductions or credits).
    • You were unaware of the understatement filed on the tax return.
  • Separation of liability
    • You and your spouse were legally separated or divorced at the time of the joint filing.
    • Your spouse is currently deceased, and you are a widow(er).
    • You and your spouse did not live together for 12 months at the time of the joint filing.
  • Equitable relief
    • Best used in situations where the IRS might consider it unfair or inequitable to hold you solely responsible for your spouse's debts (you might instead incur responsibility for only half the debts).

With so many relief options available, it is best to talk to a professional who can help you choose the option that will work best for you.

Bear in mind that with equitable relief, the IRS will determine the best equitable split. In many cases, the IRS will choose to hold you responsible for half the tax debt. However, there are instances in which they may find it more equitable to hold your responsible for more than half or even less than half of the debt.

Assistance With Debt Owed

If you are unable to pay the debt incurred to you by your late spouse, a tax relief professional can assist with that as well. An expert can help you find payment options that work best for you based on your financial capabilities. Considering that you are already dealing with the stress of your loved one's death, it may be difficult to think of any other financial responsibilities.

A tax relief professional can help you handle the debts you owe to the IRS and any payment you need to make to address those debts. In your current state, it can be easy to make a mistake when filing any documents or payments to the IRS. Therefore, it is best to allow a professional outside party to assist you.

An expert can effectively file the correct paperwork on your behalf or even take care of payments to the IRS. Tax relief professionals deal with similar situations all the time, so they are familiar with the situation and how sensitive it can be, which is why they are able to offer an understanding approach. Reach out to a personal tax resolution service today to find out more about the ways they can help you.