When a married couple files a joint tax return, each spouse is responsible for the entire amount of taxes owed. However, if you are divorced, legally separated or widowed, you may be able to have your tax liability divided so that you are responsible for only a portion of the full amount.
To participate in the program
Send a letter to the Department of Revenue asking for help under the Separation of Liability Program. You must:
- Indicate the year(s) for which you are seeking to divide your tax liability.
- Depending on the reason for your request, enclose a copy of your final divorce decree, final separation agreement or your spouse’s death certificate.
Mail your request letter to:
Minnesota Department of Revenue
Individual Income Tax Division
Mail Station 7701
St. Paul, MN 55146-7701
After your request is received by the department:
- In cases of divorce or legal separation, we will notify your former spouse of your request to divide the taxes owed.
- Using information from your tax returns, we will calculate your share of the taxable income, tax credits and any payments that have been made. (Later, we will use this calculation to determine your portion of any outstanding tax liability or refunds.)
- We will notify you how your share was determined and send a copy of the letter to your former spouse. You each have 30 days to respond to this letter if you feel our calculation is wrong. If your former spouse disagrees, we will contact you.
- If both you and your former spouse agree with our calculation, or if neither of you respond to our letter, your tax records will be changed to reflect each person's final tax liability. We will send each of you a final determination stating your tax owed, which you may appeal within 60 days to the Minnesota Tax Court.
What if I already made tax payments?
If you already made payments or received a refund, we cannot adjust your tax liability for those amounts unless your Separation of Liability request is made within 60 days of when the payment or refund occurred.