IRS Form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation) helps an individual that filed a joint tax return to get back their part of the tax refund from the IRS. In a joint tax return, the IRS holds both individuals liable for all information and tax debt on the tax return. If one person in the joint tax return had their refund reduced, withheld, or taken away due to the other person having tax debt, they may be eligible for Injured Spouse Allocation. The tax debt must be considered liable for only one person in the joint tax return and can include federal student loans or unpaid child support. Debt that is eligible in Injured Spouse Allocation usually involves debt that was accrued before two people were married and filed their joint tax return. The refund that was reduced or removed due to the outstanding debt must be the “injured” spouse’s income.
In order to be accepted for a claim of Injured Spouse Allocation, the victim must show the IRS that the debt they are trying to be exempt from occurred before marriage took place or that they were not involved in the tax debt. The injured spouse must also report income and payments on the joint tax return. If the injured is not an income earner, they cannot be eligible for Injured Spouse tax relief.
IRS Form 8379 can be submitted alongside a joint tax return. The IRS recommends that the taxpayer or tax preparer write “Injured Spouse” on the first page of the joint tax return. IRS Form 8379 may be submitted separately, similar to submitting an amended tax return, if the joint tax return was already submitted to the IRS. W-2 and 1099 forms should be submitted with IRS Form 8379 as proper documentation to validate the Injured Spouse tax relief claim.