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Last Updated: 2/6/2018

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 may 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..

How do I apply for the Separation of Liability Program?

Send us a letter asking for help under the state’s Separation of Liability Program. You must send us:
  • A signed letter indicating 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 listing 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 request:
  1. We will send you a letter confirming we received your request. If you’re legally separated or divorced, we will also send your former spouse a letter notifying them of the request.
  2. We will review your request. We may contact you to ask for more information.
  3. We will send a letter to notify you if you qualify for the program.
  • If you do not qualify, our letter will explain why.
  • If you do qualify, our 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 will consider your request complete and make our final determination. See below
         for details.

Note: Until your request is complete, we will apply your tax refunds to the debt.

What happens after you make your final determination?

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