Jeanne M. Hannah is a family law attorney in Traverse City, Michigan who has written an excellent family law blog for a number of years. She recently gathered links to a number of IRS tax resources and publications and published them in her blog. The following is the text of her post of March 14, 2011:
The IRS has released updated publications and forms that help divorced and divorcing people understand and deal with these issues:
income tax filing status
the right to claim tax exemptions
how to protect against tax liabilities arising from FOC intercepts of tax refunds on joint returns when, in fact the intercept is for child support arrearages of only one spouse and some of the tax refund belongs to the other spouse.
how to claim “innocent spouse” relief from liability caused by unreported income by the other spouse are now available.
See, in particular, IRS Publication 504 Divorced or Separated Individuals [January 10, 2011]
Other recently published and/or updated publications or IRS Forms that family lawyers' clients will find helpful and informative are:
Injured Spouse Relief: IRS Form 8379 is filed by one spouse (the injured spouse) on a jointly filed tax return when the joint overpayment expected was applied (offset) to a past-due obligation of the other spouse (e.g., a tax intercept for unpaid child support arrearages. This is how the injured spouse recovers her tax refund. See also the instructions for using Form 8379 here.
IRS Publication 971. How to Claim Innocent Spouse Relief. [Revised February 2011]
Innocent Spouse Relief: IRS Form 8857 is used to request exemption from tax liabilities cause by the under-reporting of income by the other spouse on a joint return filed during the marriage. See also Instructions for Filing Form 8857
Other recently revised publications of interest to those recently divorced or divorcing are these:
Publication 501: Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information [Published January 5, 2011]
Publication 544: Sales and Other Dispositions of Property, including transfers to spouse, rollovers or retirements accounts
Publication 555: Community Property, including information about how to handle income from separate property [Revised December 2010]
Publication 590: Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) [Published February 3, 2011]
This should be useful information for anyone going through a divorce, considering starting a divorce, staring at an impending divorce or recovering from a divorce. For other interesting and helpful information, you can check periodically on Ms. Hannah's blog, Updates in Michigan Family Law. I highly recommend her work.