§ 1.6015-5 Time and manner for requesting relief.
(a) Requesting relief. To elect the application of § 1.6015-2 or 1.6015-3, or to request equitable relief under § 1.6015-4, a requesting spouse must file Form 8857, “Request for Innocent Spouse Relief” (or other specified form); submit a written statement containing the same information required on Form 8857, which is signed under penalties of perjury; or submit information in the manner prescribed by the Treasury and IRS in forms, relevant revenue rulings, revenue procedures, or other published guidance (see § 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter).
(b) Time period for filing a request for relief -
(1) In general. To elect the application of § 1.6015-2 or 1.6015-3, or to request equitable relief under § 1.6015-4, a requesting spouse must file Form 8857 or other similar statement with the Internal Revenue Service no later than two years from the date of the first collection activity against the requesting spouse after July 22, 1998, with respect to the joint tax liability.
(2) Definitions -
(i) Collection activity. For purposes of this paragraph (b), collection activity means a section 6330 notice; an offset of an overpayment of the requesting spouse against a liability under section 6402; the filing of a suit by the United States against the requesting spouse for the collection of the joint tax liability; or the filing of a claim by the United States in a court proceeding in which the requesting spouse is a party or which involves property of the requesting spouse. Collection activity does not include a notice of deficiency; the filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien; or a demand for payment of tax. The term property of the requesting spouse, for purposes of this paragraph (b), means property in which the requesting spouse has an ownership interest (other than solely through the operation of community property laws), including property owned jointly with the nonrequesting spouse.
(ii) Section 6330 notice. A section 6330 notice refers to the notice sent, pursuant to section 6330, providing taxpayers notice of the Service's intent to levy and of their right to a collection due process (CDP) hearing.
(3) Requests for relief made before commencement of collection activity. An election or request for relief may be made before collection activity has commenced. For example, an election or request for relief may be made in connection with an audit or examination of the joint return or a demand for payment, or pursuant to the CDP hearing procedures under section 6320 in connection with the filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. For more information on the rules regarding collection due process for liens, see the Treasury regulations under section 6320. However, no request for relief may be made before the date specified in paragraph (b)(5) of this section.
(4) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this paragraph (b):
On January 11, 2000, a section 6330 notice is mailed to H and W regarding their 1997 joint Federal income tax liability. The Internal Revenue Service levies on W's employer on June 5, 2000. The Internal Revenue Service levies on H's employer on July 10, 2000. An election or request for relief must be made by January 11, 2002, which is two years after the Internal Revenue Service sent the section 6330 notice.
The Internal Revenue Service offsets an overpayment against a joint liability for 1995 on January 12, 1998. The offset only partially satisfies the liability. The Internal Revenue Service takes no other collection actions. On July 24, 2001, W elects relief with respect to the unpaid portion of the 1995 liability. W's election is timely because the Internal Revenue Service has not taken any collection activity after July 22, 1998; therefore, the two-year period has not commenced.
Assume the same facts as in Example 2, except that the Internal Revenue Service sends a section 6330 notice on January 22, 1999. W's election is untimely because it is filed more than two years after the first collection activity after July 22, 1998.
H and W do not remit full payment with their timely filed joint Federal income tax return for the 1989 tax year. No collection activity is taken after July 22, 1998, until the United States files a suit against both H and W to reduce the tax assessment to judgment and to foreclose the tax lien on their jointly-held business property on July 1, 1999. H elects relief on October 2, 2000. The election is timely because it is made within two years of the filing of a collection suit by the United States against H.
W files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on July 10, 2000. On September 5, 2000, the United States files a proof of claim for her joint 1998 income tax liability. W elects relief with respect to the 1998 liability on August 20, 2002. The election is timely because it is made within two years of the date the United States filed the proof of claim in W's bankruptcy case.
(5) Premature requests for relief. The Internal Revenue Service will not consider premature claims for relief under § 1.6015-2, 1.6015-3, or 1.6015-4. A premature claim is a claim for relief that is filed for a tax year prior to the receipt of a notification of an audit or a letter or notice from the IRS indicating that there may be an outstanding liability with regard to that year. Such notices or letters do not include notices issued pursuant to section 6223 relating to TEFRA partnership proceedings. A premature claim is not considered an election or request under § 1.6015-1(h)(5).
(c) Effect of a final administrative determination -
(1) In general. A requesting spouse is entitled to only one final administrative determination of relief under § 1.6015-1 for a given assessment, unless the requesting spouse properly submits a second request for relief that is described in § 1.6015-1(h)(5).
(2) Example. The following example illustrates the rule of this paragraph (c):
In January 2001, W becomes a limited partner in partnership P, and in February 2001, she starts her own business from which she earns $100,000 of net income for the year. H and W file a joint return for tax year 2001, on which they claim $20,000 in losses from their investment in P, and they omit W's self-employment tax. In March 2003, the Internal Revenue Service
commences an audit under the provisions of subchapter C of chapter 63 of subtitle F of the Internal Revenue Code
partnership proceeding) and sends H and W a notice under section 6223(a)(1). In September 2003, the Internal Revenue Service
audits H's and W's 2001 joint return regarding the omitted self-employment tax. H may file a claim for relief from joint and several liability for the self-employment tax liability because he has received a notification of an audit indicating that there may be an outstanding liability on the joint return. However, his claim for relief regarding the TEFRA
partnership proceeding is premature under paragraph (b)(5)
of this section. H will have to wait until the Internal Revenue Service
sends him a notice of computational adjustment or assesses the liability resulting from the TEFRA
partnership proceeding before he files a claim for relief with respect to any such liability. The assessment relating to the TEFRA
partnership proceeding is separate from the assessment for the self-employment tax; therefore, H's subsequent claim for relief for the liability from the TEFRA
partnership proceeding is not precluded by his previous claim for relief from the self-employment tax liability under this paragraph (c).