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meanbooster
New Member

If I filed mfj in a community property state can the IRS keep my refund to offset a previous tax debt my spouse incurred before we were married?

If I filed mfj in a community property state and my spouse incurred a tax debt prior to our marriage can the IRS keep my refund to offset a previous tax debt my spouse incurred?
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Accepted Solutions
AndreaG
New Member

If I filed mfj in a community property state can the IRS keep my refund to offset a previous tax debt my spouse incurred before we were married?

Yes. According to pages 1-2 of the IRS form instructions under the headings, "specific instructions" and "line 5a", "In community property states, overpayments are considered joint property and are generally applied (offset) to legally owed past-due obligations of either spouse. However, there are exceptions. The IRS will use each state's rules to determine the amount, if any, that would be refundable to the injured spouse."  Please refer to the IRS instructions for additional information.  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8379.pdf

If you meet the requirements to file an injured spouse claim, then you can still file one even though you live in a community property state. 

If you have already filed your tax return, you would need to complete the claim form in Turbo Tax and then print it out and mail it to the IRS. Please refer to the following FAQ and click on "what if I've already filed my tax return?"  for instructions on how to complete this form.https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/3326788   

In order to qualify to file as an injured spouse:

  • You need to file married filing jointly
  • You cant have any legal responsibility to pay your spouse's debt. 
  • You would need to have earned income and/or taxable income that entitles you to a tax refund. unless you or your children are eligible for and claiming the American Opportunity tax credit. The American Opportunity tax credit is a partially refundable tax credit that you can qualify for if you are pursuing your first bachelor's degree and meet the requirements to claim the credit. Please refer to the questions on page 1 of Form 8379 for more information. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8379.pdf
  • The debt has to be subject to collection through the income tax return  

Please refer to page 1 of the IRS instructions for Form 8379, under the heading, "are you an injured spouse?" to review these requirementshttps://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8379.pdf

 Additionally, please refer to page 1 of the IRS form instructions under the heading, "where to file" for additional clarification regarding the mailing addresshttps://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8379.pdf

You can send it certified mail or choose a similar method where you can track when it's received by the IRS, if you would like to have confirmation of the date that the IRS receives this form. However, injured spouse claims take anywhere from 8 to 14 weeks depending on how you filed the claim. Please refer to page 1 of the IRS form instructions under the heading, "time needed to process form 8379". https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8379.pdf  

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1 Reply
AndreaG
New Member

If I filed mfj in a community property state can the IRS keep my refund to offset a previous tax debt my spouse incurred before we were married?

Yes. According to pages 1-2 of the IRS form instructions under the headings, "specific instructions" and "line 5a", "In community property states, overpayments are considered joint property and are generally applied (offset) to legally owed past-due obligations of either spouse. However, there are exceptions. The IRS will use each state's rules to determine the amount, if any, that would be refundable to the injured spouse."  Please refer to the IRS instructions for additional information.  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8379.pdf

If you meet the requirements to file an injured spouse claim, then you can still file one even though you live in a community property state. 

If you have already filed your tax return, you would need to complete the claim form in Turbo Tax and then print it out and mail it to the IRS. Please refer to the following FAQ and click on "what if I've already filed my tax return?"  for instructions on how to complete this form.https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/3326788   

In order to qualify to file as an injured spouse:

  • You need to file married filing jointly
  • You cant have any legal responsibility to pay your spouse's debt. 
  • You would need to have earned income and/or taxable income that entitles you to a tax refund. unless you or your children are eligible for and claiming the American Opportunity tax credit. The American Opportunity tax credit is a partially refundable tax credit that you can qualify for if you are pursuing your first bachelor's degree and meet the requirements to claim the credit. Please refer to the questions on page 1 of Form 8379 for more information. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8379.pdf
  • The debt has to be subject to collection through the income tax return  

Please refer to page 1 of the IRS instructions for Form 8379, under the heading, "are you an injured spouse?" to review these requirementshttps://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8379.pdf

 Additionally, please refer to page 1 of the IRS form instructions under the heading, "where to file" for additional clarification regarding the mailing addresshttps://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8379.pdf

You can send it certified mail or choose a similar method where you can track when it's received by the IRS, if you would like to have confirmation of the date that the IRS receives this form. However, injured spouse claims take anywhere from 8 to 14 weeks depending on how you filed the claim. Please refer to page 1 of the IRS form instructions under the heading, "time needed to process form 8379". https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8379.pdf  

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