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Fillable Form 12509 (2018)

Form 12509 is used to explain why you disagree with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Determination concerning relief from joint and several liability for a joint return under Internal Revenue Code sections 6015(b), 6015(c), or 6015(f)

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What is Form 12509?

IRS Form 12509, Innocent Spouse Statement of Disagreement, is a legal document sent to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by taxpayers who wanted to express an objection to the decision made by the IRS. You may dispute the IRS determination related to the relief from joint and severe liability for a joint return in these circumstances:

  • Innocent Spouse Relief
    • By requesting innocent spouse relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse did something wrong on your tax return.
  • Relief by Separation of Liability
    • Under this type of relief, you allocate (divide) the understatement of tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse).
  • Equitable Relief
    • If you do not qualify for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability, you may still be relieved of responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties through equitable relief.

How to fill out Form 12509?

  • Taxpayer Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Spouse Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Tax year(s)

Statement of Disagreement

  • Enter the name of the taxpayer.
  • Indicate why the taxpayers disagree.
    • Describe in full detail why the taxpayer does not agree with the IRS determination. Present the information in chronological order, mention specific dates, and provide the necessary documentation to prove the point.
  • Taxpayer Signature
    • Confirm that all the statements are true and sign the form.
  • Date
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Best time to call

Where to file Form 12509?

Send your completed Form 12509 and any supporting information to the office that sent you the preliminary determination letter.

If the IRS issued a preliminary letter saying that relief was denied, both you and your spouse or former spouse remain responsible for the taxes, penalties and interest. You don’t need to take any action at that time. However, the requesting spouse may appeal this decision.

If you made an innocent spouse request that the IRS denied or didn’t fully allow, you can request an appeal if you meet these criteria:

  • You filed a Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief PDF
  • Your request concerns an unpaid tax reported on your return and/or the IRS determined additional tax
  • The IRS made a preliminary determination to deny relief or to grant partial or full relief

The IRS uses the following terms to identify the joint filers involved in an innocent spouse case:

  • Requesting spouse: The person filing Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief PDF
  • Non-requesting spouse: The other spouse for years that relief is requested. This party may participate in the innocent spouse determination or appeal

Mail your completed Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to one of the following addresses.

If using the U.S. Postal Service:

Internal Revenue Service

P.O. Box 120053

Covington, KY 41012

If using a private delivery service:

Internal Revenue Service

7940 Kentucky Drive, Stop 840F

Florence, KY 41042

The length of time to process your request could increase if you mail your completed Form 8857 to any other office. Alternatively, you can fax the form and attachments to the IRS at 855-233-8558.

Your Appeal Rights and How to Prepare a Protest If You Don’t Agree

If You Don’t Agree

If you don’t agree with any or all of the IRS findings given to you, you may request a meeting or a telephone conference with the supervisor of the person who issued the findings. If you still don’t agree, you may appeal your case to the Appeals Office of IRS.

If you decide to do nothing and your case involves an examination of your income, estate, gift, and certain excise taxes or penalties, you will receive a formal Notice of Deficiency. The Notice of Deficiency allows you to go to the Tax Court and tells you the procedure to follow. If you do not go to the Tax Court, we will send you a bill for the amount due. If you decide to do nothing and your case involves a trust fund recovery penalty, or certain employment tax liabilities, the IRS will send you a bill for the penalty. If you do not appeal a denial of an offer in compromise or a denial of a penalty abatement, the IRS will continue collection action.

If you don’t agree, we urge you to appeal your case to the Appeals Office of IRS. The Office of Appeals can settle most differences without expensive and time-consuming court trials. [Note: Appeals can not consider your reasons for not agreeing if they don’t come within the scope of the tax laws (for example, if you disagree solely on moral, religious, political, constitutional, conscientious, or similar grounds.)]

Appeals Within the IRS

Appeals is the administrative appeals office for the IRS. You may appeal most IRS decisions with your local Appeals Office. The Appeals Office is separate from - and independent of - the IRS Office taking the action you disagree with. The Appeals Office is the only level of administrative appeal within the IRS.

Conferences with Appeals Office personnel are held in an informal manner by correspondence, by telephone or at a personal conference. There is no need for you to have representation for an Appeals conference, but if you choose to have a representative, see the requirements under Representation.

If you want an Appeals conference, follow the instructions in our letter to you. Your request will be sent to the Appeals Office to arrange a conference at a convenient time and place. You or your representative should prepare to discuss all issues you don’t agree with at the conference. Most differences are settled at this level.

In most instances, you may be eligible to take your case to court if you don’t reach an agreement at your Appeals conference, or if you don’t want to appeal your case to the IRS Office of Appeals.


When you request an appeals conference, you may also need to file a formal written protest or a small case request with the office named in our letter to you. Also, see the special appeal request procedures in Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights, if you disagree with lien, levy, seizure, or denial or termination of an installment agreement.


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