How does the injured spouse form work?

My new husband owes back child support, but is currently in good standing on him payments (if that even matters). He told me if we file together, my refund will be used to pay off his debt. So I have been researching on what I should do and how to file. The only solution I have received is to file an injured spouse form when we file. How exactly does that work? Will I get all of my owed  refund and what he was supposed to get will go towards the debt? Also, will I still receive the same married advantages? Or would filing this form make it more like I am filing single? Because when I enter our information under married, filing separately, my amount of the refund is dropped drastically.   Please someone give me some advice!!
  • My husband seems to believe that I can file single or head of household, in order to get my maximum refund. Can I do this if on my W4 I reported married ?  I do not want to get into any trouble, and he says I wont, but I do not trust that....
  • When you are legally married and living together, you can only file as either Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately.  You cannot file as Single or Head of Household.
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You can file as Married Filing Joint & include the 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.  

When you include the Injured Spouse form with your return it can take the IRS 11 to 14 weeks to process your return.  

You can check with your State to see if they have a simaliar Injured Spouse Form.

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:

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p555/ar02.html#d0e928

 

- Federal Taxes tab (Home & Business - Personal tab)

- Other Tax Situations

- Other Tax Forms

- Miscellaneous Tax Forms, click Start

- Report an injured or innocent spouse claim

- Click Start


This may also help: 

You may be an injured spouse if you file a joint tax return and all or part of your portion of a refund was, or is expected to be, applied to your spouse’s legally enforceable past due financial obligations.

Here are seven facts about claiming injured spouse relief:

1. To be considered an injured spouse; you must have paid federal income tax or claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit on the joint return, and not be legally obligated to pay the past-due debt.

2. Special rules apply in community property states. For more information about the factors used to determine whether you are subject to community property laws, see IRS Publication 555, Community Property.

3. If you filed a joint return and you're not responsible for the debt, but you are entitled to a portion of the refund, you may request your portion of the refund by filing Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation.

4. You may file form 8379 along with your original tax return or your may file it by itself after you receive an IRS notice about the offset.

5. You can file Form 8379 electronically. If you file a paper tax return you can include Form 8379 with your return, write "INJURED SPOUSE" at the top left of the Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. IRS will process your allocation request before an offset occurs.

6. If you are filing Form 8379 by itself, it must show both spouses' Social Security numbers in the same order as they appeared on your income tax return. You, the "injured" spouse, must sign the form.

7. Do not use Form 8379 if you are claiming innocent spouse relief. Instead, file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. This relief from a joint liability applies only in certain limited circumstances. However, in 2011 the IRS eliminated the two-year time limit that applies to certain relief requests. IRS Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains who may qualify, and how to request this relief.

  • Thank you!
  • who is the injured spouse? the person that owes or the person that wants the money to be protected?
  • The person that wants money protected
  • I found out today that after electronically filing a married joint return already. My husband needs to file the 8379 injured spouse form, do we have to mail it in or can we file electronically now or do we have to mail it? If u can do it electronically how do I do it? Please help. I wad due for a DD on the 11th but that was before all this so I need to get it str8 ASAP.... AGAIN...PLEASE HELP!?!?!
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I had the same issue last year.  I ran all different scenarios and found it was best for us (i.e. larger refund)  to file jointly and complete an injured spouse form.  They basically calculate your portion of the return based on income, taxes paid and credits and you receive your portion.  It does add significant time to the processing.  For us last year it was exactly eight weeks.  I recommend checking the intercept line at the Department of Treasury before you file (to make sure there is an intercept) and then weekly thereafter for a clue as to when you will get your refund.  It will give you the agency that is intercepting and will tell you when you refund has been intercepted.  The phone number is 800-304-3107.  
One other thing I learned last year after being on hold forever with the IRS is that even though it is "your" portion of the tax return it will be issued to both you and your husband so it must be deposited into a JOINT account.  If you maintain separate accounts in your name only it will not process.  Just wanted to bring this up so you are not frantically trying to add him to your accounts at the last minute like I was last year!
  • alyst2 - thank you for this info! Just my name is on the account but we filed joint. Guess what we'll be doing ASAP?! Wonderful, helpful info that I very much appreciate you sharing :)
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Is the injured spouse the one that owes the debt or the one that doesn't have debt?!

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    If his payments are in good standings...meaning he doesnt own back support the IRS does not take your refund!
    • He still owes back support, but he just got a job this year, and is making payments ...so does that matter?
    • I know my husband was making arrears payments and it was still intercepted based on the most recent information available to the IRS.  We ended up overpaying the arrears because he was making payments and was intercepted so we have a "credit" with child support. There is a threshold for intercept, it is 150 if the ex is on TANF and 500 if the ex is not.
    • I found out today that after electronically filing a I found out today that after electronically filing a married joint return already. My husband needs to married joint return already. My husband needs to file the 8379 injured spouse form, do we have to file the 8379 injured spouse form, do we have to mail it in or can we file electronically now or do we mail it in or can we file electronically now or do we have to mail it? If u can do it electronically how do I have to mail it? If u can do it electronically how do I do it? Please help. I wad due for a DD on the 11th do it? Please help. I wad due for a DD on the 11th but that was before all this so I need to get it str8 but that was before all this so I need to get it str8 ASAP.... AGAIN...PLEASE HELP!?!?!
    • Since you have already filed electronically, you can complete a Form 8379 and mail it to the IRS.
      Go to this IRS link for the Form 8379 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8379.pdf
      Go to this IRS link for the Form 8379 instructions http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8379.pdf
      Go to this IRS link for the address on where to mail the Form 8379 based on where you live (use the address for filing a Form 1040 without a payment)
      http://www.irs.gov/uac/Where-To-File-Addresses-for-Tax-Professionals
    • DoninGa has it right on!! since you have already filed, you must print off and complete the form (8379) -pretty basic form. Unfortunately We experienced the same issue last year! was given a DD date after filing, and checked my bank account, NO DEPOSIT! UGH!!!!!
      since we had already filed our return (and believe me, you prob will not be notified of the offset until afterwards) we printed/mailed the 8379 to IRS.......HOWEVER be prepared to BE PATIENT!!!!!  we didn't receive our return until mid JUNE!!! next year you can save yourself a few weeks of waiting by filing 8379 WITH you tax filing. that's how we filed this year, and plan to until our issue is resolved! (Be sure to fill out the form correctly, as incorrect info will only further delay your return)  GOOD LUCK!!!    nothing more upsetting than looking forward to that deposit, and then becoming aware of the offset!! :(
    • harp.megan when you received your refund after filing 8379 after your offset last year did it get DD or did they send you a check?
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