Back to List

Category: Tax Questions

Form 8379 - Injured Spouse Allocation

An injured spouse is a taxpayer who files a joint return and all or part of the portion of the joint overpayment (refund) is, or expected to be, applied against legally enforceable past obligation of the other spouse.  By filing Form 8379, the injured spouse may be able to get back his or her share of the refund.  The following examples are legally enforceable debts that could apply for this purpose:
• Child or spousal support• State income tax
• Past-due federal tax• Federal non-tax debt (such as a student loan)
If the IRS has applied your client's refund against the spouse's tax liability, or your client is concerned that the IRS may do so, select Form 8379.  The form requests identifying information for your client and spouse, and information needed to determine how much of the tax - and refund - is attributable to each spouse.  The IRS makes the actual calculation that divides the refund between your client and his or her spouse.

File Form 8379 if all three of the following apply:
  1. The injured spouse is not required to pay the past-due amount,
  2. The injured spouse reported income such as wages, taxable, interest, etc., on the joint return, and
  3. The injured spouse made payments such as federal income tax withheld or estimated payments, or claimed the EIC or other refundable credit on the joint return.
Exception: If the main home of the injured spouse was in a community property state (AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI), the spouse may file Form 8379 if only item (1) above applies.

Allocation: Part II, Form 8379 lists income and withholding amounts shown on the joint return, amounts allocated to the other spouse.  The IRS will figure the amount of any refund due the injured spouse.

Filing: Form 8379 may be filed with the tax return.  If the return was already filed, send Form 8379 by itself to the IRS center for the place the injured spouse lived when the return was filed.

To display instructions for completing Form 8379 in the tax program click here.

Additional links:
Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation
Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief
Instructions for Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief
IRS Tax Tip 2012-60, Injured or Innocent Spouse Tax Relief
Publication 555, Community Property
Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief
Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals