Linda K. Haltom - Page 7

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          for the years 1989-94, which the Commissioner considered and                
          denied in 2002.  He based his decision on Linda’s having reason             
          to know of the embezzlement and receiving a significant benefit             
          from it.  Linda does not appeal his denial of relief for tax                
          years 1989 and 1994--there was neither an understatement nor an             
          underpayment of taxes for those years, one of which must be                 
          present for her to qualify for relief under section 6015--but did           
          petition the Tax Court for review of his denial of relief for               
          1990-93.  The case was tried in Lubbock.  The Haltoms remain                
          married and have always been residents of Texas.                            
               Spouses who sign joint returns are jointly and severally               
          liable for their accuracy and the full tax shown.  See sec.                 
          6013(d)(3).  Section 6015, however, provides relief from that               
          liability to qualifying “innocent spouses,” and Linda asks for              
          relief under subsections 6015(b) and (f).  These subsections                
          address the same general problem but differ in important ways.              
          Relief under subsection (f) is available for a spouse who shows             
          that "taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it is            
          inequitable to hold [her] liable for any unpaid tax or any                  
          deficiency (or any portion of either)."  Success in our Court               
          under this subsection depends on proof that the Commissioner                
          abused his discretion in denying relief.  Subsection (f) cases              
          rarely depend on one factor alone--even though the Commissioner             

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Last modified: May 25, 2011