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Last Updated: 7/20/2016

Separation of Liability Program

Spouses who file a joint income tax return are both responsible for the full amount of tax, penalty, and interest owed on their return. If you are now divorced, legally separated, or widowed, you can ask the Minnesota Department of Revenue to adjust your tax debt under the Separation of Liability Program. If you qualify, you’re responsible only for your portion of the debt..

To participate in the program

Send a letter to the Minnesota Department of Revenue asking for help under the state’s Separation of Liability Program. You must send us:
  • A signed letter that indicates the tax years you are requesting help. 
  • A copy of your final divorce decree, final separation agreement, or your spouse’s death certificate. (If you’re divorced, send the first page of the decree that lists the parties involved and is stamped by the courts, and the page where the judge signed the order.)
Mail your request letter to:
Minnesota Revenue
Income Tax and Withholding Division
Mail Station 7701
St. Paul, MN 55146-7701

What happens after I apply for the Separation of Liability Program?

Once we receive your application, we take the following steps:
1.   We send you a letter to confirm we received your request. If you’re legally separated or divorced, we also send your spouse
      or former spouse a letter to notify them of the request.
2.  We review your request. We may contact you to ask for more information.
3.  We send a letter to notify you if you qualify for the program.
  • If you do not qualify, the letter will explain why.
  • If you do qualify, the letter will explain how we propose to calculate your share of the amount due.
4. If you agree with the decision, no further action is needed. If you disagree, you must send us documentation to show why
    the proposed decision is incorrect.
5. If we do not hear from you within 30 days, we consider your request complete and make our final determination. (See below
    for details.)
Note: Until the request is complete, we will apply your tax refunds to the debt.

Final determination

We will send final determination letters to you and your former spouse that state the amount you each owe. Either spouse may appeal to Minnesota Tax Court if they disagree with our final determination.
You are responsible for the portion of tax debt that is assigned to you. We will send you a refund if you overpaid your portion of the debt and are entitled to a refund.