Form 8379: Injured Spouse Allocation Definition & Overview
Form 8379: Injured Spouse Allocation is one of the many IRS forms.
Due to the sheer number of IRS forms, it can be difficult to know exactly where you stand.
Read on as we give you a full breakdown of this form, as well as its purpose, who can file it, how to file it, and answer some of your frequently asked questions.
Table of Contents
- A tax document known as IRS Form 8379 can be used to reclaim a portion of a tax refund that has already been or will be utilized to settle an unpaid debt of the other spouse.
- The “injured” spouse can file Form 8379 to claim their portion of the refund if a married couple files a joint tax return and the refund is used to pay one spouse’s past-due obligations .
- Form 8379 may be submitted by itself or with a tax return. It has to be submitted within 3 years from when the joint return was filed or within 2 years from when the tax was paid.
What Is Form 8379?
Form 8379 is an IRS document used by one spouse to file for their share of a joint tax overpayment refund that was or will be applied to offset debt of the other spouse. .
A jointly filed tax return injured spouse has the option to file Form 8379 in order to claim their share of a joint refund that was taken in order to satisfy the other spouse’s past-due debt.
Past-due federal tax, state tax, child support, or federal non-tax debt are a few examples of these responsibilities such as a student loan. The spouse who has been harmed and is not responsible for the debt is referred to as the “injured” spouse.
Who Can File Form 8379?
Since spouses are normally jointly liable for a tax debt, an injured spouse should file Form 8379 when they find out that all or a portion of a tax refund was applied to, or is likely to be applied to their spouse’s past-due obligations that are legally enforceable.
If a spouse is behind on federal non-tax debt like student loans or certain unemployment compensation obligations, the Department of Treasury is allowed to take a taxpayer’s refund and apply it to a past-due debt . By submitting Form 8379, the injured spouse requests that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) release their share of a joint tax refund.
How to File Form 8379
Form 8379 may be submitted in conjunction with a joint tax return, a joint tax return that has been amended (Form 1040-X), or thereafter on its own. The form (along with Form 1040-X) is required only if a spouse is amending the original return to claim a joint refund.
Form 8379 must be filed for each year the taxpayer wants their share of any offset repaid.. The injured spouse may file the form with the joint tax return or separately if the pair files their return knowing that any potential refund could be withheld.
How to Qualify as an Injured Spouse
On Form 8379, the term “injured spouse” designates a spouse who has been negatively impacted by having their joint tax refund used to pay down the other spouse’s debts. The injured spouse may be qualified to recover their part of the refund from the IRS since they have suffered a financial loss (“injured”) as a result of the offset.
Injured Spouse vs. Innocent Spouse Relief
The main difference between an injured spouse and innocent spouse relief is that an innocent spouse’s claim is for a relief or allocation of a joint tax liability reported on their joint return.
While an injured spouse’s claim is for the allocation of a refund of a joint refund.
A jointly filed tax return’s injured spouse has the option to file Form 8379 in order to claim their share of a joint refund that was taken in order to satisfy the other spouse’s past-due debt.
The IRS will analyze your Form 8379 after you’ve submitted it to decide if you qualify for the injured spouse relief, and, if so, how much. If you file an injured spouse form with a joint return on paper, it takes the IRS around 14 weeks to process it; if you file it electronically, it takes about 11 weeks.
FAQS on Form 8379
Typically, you have three years from the original return’s filing date or two years from the date the tax was paid to submit your request.
Form 8379 may be submitted either with your initial tax return or separately following notification of an offset.
Processing will take between 8 and 14 weeks if you submitted Form 8379 on its own after the IRS had finished processing a joint return. Call the IRS to inquire about the status of it if it has been more than the specified number of weeks.
Regardless of whether you live together, you can file either jointly as a married couple or separately as a married couple. Whether you should file a joint return or not depends on your specific situation.
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