2019 – 06/17 Married couples filing joint tax returns are generally both responsible for the entire tax liability that should be reported on their income tax returns. Certain protections exist for “innocent spouses.” The Taxpayer First Act, which was passed by Congress on June 13 and is expected to be signed by the President, gives added protection for innocent spouses. It provides that the standard of review for relief by the courts should be conducted on a “de novo” basis. That is, the court could consider any newly discovered or previously unavailable evidence. The Act also allows the spouse to timely request equitable relief for an unpaid liability, or to timely request a tax refund or credit.