Phyllis J. Merendino - Page 8

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          to petitioner’s claim for relief; (2) petitioner signed the joint           
          tax return for the taxable year 1996 showing a balance due; (3)             
          petitioner was not reasonable in believing that the remaining               
          balance would be paid out of the proceeds from the sale of Dr.              
          Merendino’s business; (4) Dr. Merendino never abused petitioner;            
          (5) there was no legal obligation created under a separation                
          agreement or a divorce decree for Dr. Merendino to pay the                  
          liability; and (6) considering petitioner’s assets and income               
          level, petitioner would not suffer economic hardship if relief              
          was not granted.  Taking all these factors into consideration,              
          the Appeals officer concluded that there were insufficient                  
          factors in favor of granting relief.                                        
               Petitioner filed a petition with this Court on April 11,               
          2005, seeking relief from joint and several liability.  At the              
          time the joint return was filed in 1996, the amount of unpaid tax           
          was $405,860, as stated previously.  Petitioner asserts that the            
          amount of the liability allocable to her, as shown by her attempt           
          to file a separate return, was $28,408.  Petitioner seeks relief            
          only from the tax that is not attributable to her income.                   
          I.  Petitioner Signed the Joint Return                                      
               Petitioner originally contended that Dr. Merendino filed the           
          1996 tax return and forged her signature without her permission.            
          According to the Merendinos, Dr. Merendino signed and filed the             

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