An injured spouse situation, not to be confused with an innocent spouse situation, occurs when a married couples joint income tax refund is offset (applied) to the outstanding tax debt of one spouse. For example, a husband owes $2,000 in income tax from a year prior to the marriage. He and his non-liable spouse file a joint income tax return, which generates a $1,000 refund. The refund is taken by the IRS and applied to the husband’s $2,000 debt. The non-liable wife can request an injured spouse allocation and recover either all or a portion of that refund.
To apply for this relief, complete and file Form 8379 with the IRS. That form has an allocation section where the income and tax payments of each spouse are broken out. The IRS will calculate any refund due the injured spouse.
Be careful when making a refund claim. You must file for your refund no later than three years from the due date of the tax return, or two years from the date the tax was paid, whichever is later. If you miss that deadline, the IRS will not issue the refund.
Call us today for a consultation if you need help with an injured spouse claim.