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Innocent spouse tax options, extra time

Most married taxpayers do a lot of things together, including filing taxes. That's usually a good idea, since more tax breaks are available to the couple filing a single 1040.

But if one spouse takes some tax shortcuts, the other spouse ends up in just as much tax trouble. That's why sometimes it pays to file separately.

In the cases where a spouse can't or doesn't take such tax preemptive measures, there's also the possibility of getting some relief from the Internal Revenue Service via its injured and innocent spouse programs.

These opportunities to ease the unexpected tax costs caused by a spouse or ex-spouse are this week's Weekly Tax Tip.

This summer, the IRS decided to extend the time frame for requesting certain types of spousal tax relief. And in cases involving spousal abuse, the IRS takes steps to resolve the issue without exacerbating the situation.

The best move, of course, is to be aware of what your spouse is claiming on your joint tax return. If you have any concerns, don't sign it.

But when that's not possible, check out your spousal tax relief options.

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