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Issue Number: Tax Tip
Seven Facts about Injured Spouse
If you file a joint return and all or part of your refund is
applied against your spousesí past-due federal tax, state income tax,
child or spousal support or federal nontax debt, such as a student loan,
you may be entitled to injured spouse relief.
Here are seven facts the IRS wants you to know about claiming injured
- To be considered an injured spouse, you must have made and reported
tax payments, such as federal income tax withheld from wages or
estimated tax payments, or claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the
earned income credit or additional child tax credit on the joint return,
and not be legally obligated to pay the past-due amount.
- If you live in a community property state, special rules apply. For
more information about the factors used to determine whether you are
subject to community property laws, see IRS Publication 555, Community
- If you filed a joint return and you're not responsible for the debt,
but you are entitled to a portion of the refund you may request your
portion of the refund by filing Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation.
- You may file form 8379 along with your original tax return or your
may file it by itself after you are notified of an offset.
- You can file the Form 8379 electronically. If you file a paper tax
return you can include Form 8379 with your return, write "INJURED
SPOUSE" at the top left corner of the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ. IRS
will process your allocation request before an offset occurs.
- If you are filing Form 8379 by itself, it must show both spouses'
social security numbers in the same order as they appeared on your
income tax return. You, the "injured" spouse, must sign the form.
- Do not use Form 8379 if you are claiming innocent spouse relief.
Instead, file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. This
relief from a joint liability applies only in certain limited
circumstances. IRS Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains who
may qualify, and how to request this relief.
For more information about the Injured Spouse and Innocent Spouse
Relief, visit www.IRS.gov.
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