The phrase “injured spouse” has nothing to do with being physically hurt. In taxes, you might be an injured spouse if you file a joint tax return when your spouse has past debts the IRS can collect. Even if you should be getting a refund, the IRS might use all or part of your refund to pay your spouse’s debts. This means you get less of your refund, or maybe even none of it.
Some examples of debts that might cause injured spouse taxes to happen include:
- Past-due child support
- Past-due student loans
Filing With the IRS as an Injured Spouse
To file as an injured spouse, you’ll need to complete Form 8379: Injured Spouse Claim and Allocation. If you’re filing with H&R Block, you won’t need to complete this form on your own. Just add our Tax Pro Review service and a tax pro will help you finish your return, including your Form 8379.
Injured spouses can file a claim to part of their refund on a joint return. You’ll qualify for injured spouse taxes if:
- You aren’t required to pay a past-due amount.
- You received income and reported it on your joint return.
- You made and reported tax payments on that income (Ex: withholding or estimated tax payments).
However, if you live in a community property state, the IRS might still be able to claim your share of the refund for the debt. If you don’t want to upgrade to our Tax Pro Review service, you can get Form 8379 at www.irs.gov. However, you won’t be able to e-file — you’ll have to print your return and mail it along with this form.
What If the IRS Already Took Part of My Refund Because I Didn’t File as an Injured Spouse?
If the IRS has already taken your part of the tax refund, you can file Form 8379: Injured Spouse Claim and Allocation to get your part of the refund back as an injured spouse. The IRS will calculate how much of the refund belongs to you based on tax payments you made and your share of any credits.
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