It depends. Since you dont have any earned income, you would need to have some source of 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.
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. 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 requirements. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8379.pdf
If you meet the requirements to file as an injured spouse, 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
Additionally, please refer to page 1 of the IRS form instructions under the heading, "where to file" for additional clarification regarding the mailing address. https://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