For payroll taxes, the IRS will go after you personally for the trust fund portion of the payroll taxes. Are you on a payment plan for the trust fund portion?
If your payment plan is not for the trust fund portion, you need to detail everything in a letter to the IRS. It will take a long time for a response, because the IRS has a backlog of these cases. You will have several back and forth opportunities to convince your filed agent that you are only responsible for half of the taxes and that your partner is responsible for the other half. If you can't convince the field agent, once he or she renders a decision, you put in writing a request for a conference regarding the issue. This will be assigned to an IRS appeals person, who will contact you for more information. If your partner had the responsibility for the payroll taxes, then your argument is that you had no control or knowledge of the payroll tax issue. If this is not the case, your argument is that you are only responsible for half. Be aware though, the IRS may go after joint and several liability, meaning they will get it from whomever they can, and leave that person to go after the remaining partner.
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