A taxpayer is considered an injured spouse when a joint overpayment was or is expected to be applied to a past due obligation of the other spouse. By filing Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, the injured spouse may be able to get back his or her share of the refund.
Your client may qualify as an injured spouse if:
1. Your client filed jointly with their spouse
2. Some or all of the expected refund (overpayment) was applied to one of the following agencies for your client’s spouse’s obligations:
· Unpaid federal tax liabilities
· Past due child or spousal support
· Past due debts owed to other federal agencies (such as a student loan)
· Past due state income tax obligations owed to a state
Injured Spouse Relief
If the IRS has applied your client’s refund against their spouse’s tax liability, or your client is concerned that the IRS may do so, they should file a Form 8379. Your Client Should 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.
Form 8379 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.