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taxfile20
Level 2

Refund check trace for joint filing

Hello,
 
  My spouse has filed tax returns with Single status for 2019 Tax returns in Jan 2020 and got her refund. I haven't filed my returns for 2019 at all. We had amended the tax returns in Nov 2020 knowing that we can file MFJ since our marriage was in 2019 and we have included her as primary tax payer since she filed already. We separated in Mar 2021 and filed for uncontested divorce. Now I have been notified in Jul 2021 that a refund check is coming soon but the refund check which is a significant amount never reached my mail. I have called IRS regd the status but they asked my spouse to call and my spouse won't talk to me. They were not able to see any amended return on my name but can see it on my spouse name. My online status does show refund is completed on Jul 30. Now most probable scenario is my spouse might have received the check since she is primary tax payer and not revealing it to me.  How do I find out refund check trace from IRS without my spouse involvement and confirm that she received it. I want to then hopefully claim my fair share of the refund.
6 Replies
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Refund check trace for joint filing

@taxfile20 

 

" I haven't filed my returns for 2019 at all."  

 

If you and your spouse amended her (very) incorrect 2019 return and filed a joint amended return you have indeed filed a 2019 tax return.  The amended joint return is your 2019 tax return.   You do not say how you were notified in July that a check is on its way.    If and when the IRS issues a refund check for that amended 2019 return, it will have both of your names on it.  When you file an amended return, the IRS mails a check to the address on the tax return.  They do not make direct deposits for amended returns.  So---that refund check will be mailed and it will have both names on it.

 

If you are going through a divorce, you must have an attorney, right?   Your attorney should be able to help with this.   Your spouse would need YOUR signature on that check to endorse/cash it----did she/would she forge your signature?   

 

And... you have made no mention of what the two of you did for 2020.   If you were still legally married at the end of 2020 you filing choices for 2020 are to file married filing separately or married filing jointly.

 

If you have good reason to believe that your spouse received the 2019 joint refund check and has kept all of the refund then get your attorney involved.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
taxfile20
Level 2

Refund check trace for joint filing

@xmasbaby0  

Thanks for your help on this. I was notified through a CP21B notice stating the amount of refund and that a refund check would be coming in 2-3 weeks. Its mentioned on the notice that a copy is sent to both of us but only one refund check will be issued. I have a no idea if she had encashed the check and that is what I am trying to find out with the IRS. As I have told before, the IRS agent seems not to be very helpful on the phone asking my spouse to call to tell the refund status. I am not sure if reaching out to another agent or trying out through mail will help. If I can confirm she did receive the refund then I can work with my attorney to claim my fair share of the refund. For 2020, both of us have filed MFS returns with her address being different than mine. On the 2019 amended returns, we did keep my address on it, but I suspect since IRS gets the primary tax payer's(my spouse) latest address from the 2020 tax return, the check might have gone to her address. Please advise on how to get the  confirmation from IRS about the refund check trace.

xmasbaby0
Level 15

Refund check trace for joint filing

Okay---you do not really know if that check was even mailed.   The CP21B said a check would be issued---but the IRS is so severely backlogged that it is possible that they have not sent the check out yet---things are happening at a much slower pace during the pandemic.     There should be an 800 number on the letter that you can call to see if the check has actually been sent.   

 

As for the IRS using any address other than the one on the Form 1040X----doubtful they would check your spouse's 2020 return and use that address instead of the address on the amended return.  

 

@Critter    Any thoughts on this one?

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
taxfile20
Level 2

Refund check trace for joint filing

I called the 800 number and the IRS agent wasn't able to help me and asked my spouse to call them. Since this is a joint filing I guess atleast I should have a right to know the refund status. 

@Critter Please advise how to proceed.

Critter-3
Level 15

Refund check trace for joint filing

If her  2020 return was processed then the address was probably updated for the 2019 amended return so it probably will go to her however she cannot legally negotiate the check without your signature so the advice to use your attorney to "encourage" her to do the right thing would be the way to go.   As for if the check was released yet  try to get that info by signing into your IRS account online here :  

https://www.irs.gov/payments/view-your-tax-account

 

Even if  you are a spouse on the amended return it is still your return as well and you should be able to get information on that return.   Did you try the WHERE'S MY AMENDED RETURN?  tool yet ... you must use her SS# to access that portal :     https://www.irs.gov/filing/wheres-my-amended-return

taxfile20
Level 2

Refund check trace for joint filing

I have tried the "Where's my amended return" tool using my SSN. It is showing as Refund completed on Jul 30. It is showing as mismatch with her SSN as I don't know her latest zipcode.

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