Injured spouse relief is when one spouse's refund allocable to her/his income is taken by the Government to satisfy child support, back taxes, an unpaid student loan, etc.
You need to insure that if you file a joint return, you include Form 8379 to claim injured spouse relief. This will prevent the "injured" spouse's share of the refund from being offset by the debt. Turbotax supports this form. Injured spouse (Form 8379) is included under the Federal Taxes tab. Look at under the federal review for other tax situations.
While an injured spouse return can be e-filed, including injured spouse on your return will delay your refund by about 14 weeks (11 weeks if it is e-filed.)
For future years, there are several other solutions. These would include:
1. File separate returns. This is generally not a good solution because it will result in additional taxes.
2. Adjust your withholding so there is no refund. Without a refund, there is nothing to offset.
3. Pay the past due amounts.
See the IRS's Q & A on injured spouse here. http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=109283,00.html
Community Property States
You don't mention where you live. As an additional comment, the rules are sometimes different if you live in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.) In those states, even with injured spouse relief, the relief may not be as complete as it would be in other states. If you live in one of those states, see IRS Publication 555 for a more complete discussion of injured spouse in a community property state. It can be found at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p555/ar02.html#d0e928
You can still file as Married Filing Joint which usually the better filing method & include Federal form 8379 (Injured Spouse Form), Form 8379 is filed by one spouse (the injured spouse) on a jointly filed tax return when the joint overpayment was (or is expected to be) applied (offset) to a past-due obligation of the other spouse. By filing Form 8379, the injured spouse may be able to get back his or her share of the joint refund. If you include the form with your tax return it can take the IRS 11 to 14 weeks to process your return.
If you live in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.), the injured spouse relief may be different than in other states, see the following under Community Property Laws Disregarded:
- Federal Taxes tab (Personal Tab for Home & Business)
- Other Tax Situations
- Other Tax Forms
- Miscellaneous Tax Forms, click Start
- Report an injured or innocent spouse claim
- Click Start
Your state may have a similiar form you can fill out
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