Sometimes unfortunate events happen during a marriage or before that can have real consequences on your spouse. Unpaid taxes, child support that is owed, or federal non tax debt such as a student loan are just a few debts that can affect your spouse and your wallet. If you live in a community property state there is little you can do to recover these losses. If you live in a state that holds each spouse accountable for their actions as individuals you can read further and recover all of the tax refund owed to you as an injured spouse. No matter what a debt collection company tells you they cannot take money from you to pay a debt owed by your spouse. The money they take yearly from joint refunds is held in escrow waiting for you to file this form.
If you have suffered a tax refund offset there is a way to recover a potion of your money. The Injured Spouse Allocation tax form is the IRS publication that will keep you or your spouse from suffering from an unfair debt. File the Tax Form 8379 to recover the injured spouses portion of the tax refund.
Things You Will Need
Internet connection, pdf file f8379 fromt he IRS, a telephone.
Call: Financial Management Service of the IRS
If you are filling a joint tax return and you or you spouse will be suffering a tax refund offset you should file the IRS Tax Form 8379 to recover a portion of your losses. You could suffer a tax refund offset per the Treasury Offset Program if either of you are behind on child support payments, school loan payments, or USDA loan payments. The tax form 8379 will protect the injured spouse from losing all of his/her portion of the tax refund.
If you think you will be a victim of tax refund offset you can check with the Financial Management Service of the Department of the Treasury. This office is the debt collection agency for the Treasury Offset Program. You can call toll free at (800)304-3107, where you will reach an automated service that will confirm a tax refund offset in your name or the name of your spouse. If a tax offset is confirmed you can file tax form 8379.
Download Tax Form 8379
Once you have discovered you will be a victim of a tax refund garnishment you need to navigate to the IRS website. A simple search for tax form 8379 will bring you to a page where you can download a pdf file of the forms. You can file this tax form at the time you file your tax return, or as soon as you are aware of an offset. This form can recover tax refund money for up to six years on some types of tax refund offset.
Fill out Tax Form 8379
Part 1 of the Injured Spouse Allocation for determines your eligibility to take the credit. Part 2 of the form is full names and social security numbers for each spouse exactly as they appear on your tax returns. Part 3 of the form 8379 is the part that I will cover in the most detail as it has to be filled out accurately or you will not receive your refund.
Answer Questions 1-12 on the tax form 8379 to determine eligibility for the Injured Spouse Allocation. Make sure on question #10 you check the box for the injured spouse, which is the spouse that does not owe the debt.
Fill out questions 10-12 acurately. I can not stree this point enough as one mistake will have your claim denied. Be certain that you have allocated the injured spouse as the spouse that does NOT owe the debt.
Step 5Part 3 of the Injured Spouse Allocation tax form can be slightly tricky to fill out. The form is separated into 3 blocks Block A being the total amounts on your tax return, Block B is for the Injured Spouse, and Block C is for the person owing the debt. The IRS prints a publication along with this tax form.
Part 3 of the Injured Spouse Allocation form should be filled out as follows:
13 A. is Wages reported on a w2 fill in according to the total, the injured spouse wages, and the other spouse wages.
13.B is Any other wages such as self employment income or intrest on a joint account.
14. is Adjustments to your income such as IRA deductions or any other deduction you determine.
15. is your standard deduction, which should be entered as the total deduction, and then one half entered for each spouse. The Standard Deduction for 2008 is 10,900.
The last portion of the Injured Spouse Allocation form is for any additional tax credits or exemptions claimed on the current years tax return.
Line 17 is for any additional credits such as Additional Child Tax Credit.
Line 18 is for any other taxes you paid such as self employment tax.
Line 19 is for federal income tax withheld and should be split according to W2's.
Line 20 is for joint estimated tax payments.
If you file the Injured Spouse Allocation Form with your tax return you can file the form electronically or mail it as you normally would. If you did not file form 8379 electronically with your joint tax return you must mail it to the IRS office in your state. Make sure to attach a copy of all w2's on the joint tax return as well as any 1099's you may have. The Injured Spouse Allocation Form CANNOT be filed electronically if you did not include it in the original filling of your tax return. File tax form 8379 every year that you think you may be subject to an offset.
Tips & Warnings
When you file this tax form the information should be accurate and reflect the data from the tax form of the filing year. To be more clear if you file this from for 2008 you will use the data from your 2008 refund to complete the form.
If you filed electronically for prior years and still have the tax file on your computer you can easily retrieve that data using a tax software from the current year.
You can view the proper tax forms in any tax software by using the view tab and searching for the form.
File your taxes for free using Free Tax E-File the Answer for Low Income Families