Injured Spouse Details

Today TaxMama hears from Karaya in the TaxQuips Forum who is frustrated. “I have filled an Injured Spouse form 8379 because part (a huge part) of my refund was retained to pay a student loan (debt by my spouse before we were married).  IRS sent me a notice that they couldn’t process the request because it was incomplete. All income amounts, withholding, deductions, credits, and exemptions must be allocated to the appropriate spouse. What do I do?”

Dear Karaya,

 Yes, it can be confusing. And to save time in the future, only withhold enough to cover your share of the taxes – or to end up with a tiny refund.

In order for IRS to give you back your share of the refund, they need to know the numbers. So you need to fill out all of Part III.

  • Enter the amounts from your tax return into column (a).
  • Enter the numbers that relate your your income in column (b).
  • Enter the difference (your husband’s amount) in column (c).

Without that information, how does IRS know how much refund is yours? If you don’t enter your wages or business income into column (b) and your husband’s wages or business income into column (c), how can IRS know what your share of the income should be?

In an injured spouse situation, they will only give you YOUR share of the refund. You need to tell IRS how much of the refund is yours – and why. This form explains it to them.  If the refund is generated by your husband’s income and withholding, you may not be entitled to it.

However, if you are in a community property state…then split half of the amounts, including the withholding, and the income, that are in column (a). Put one half into each of the other two columns. Include an explanation that you are making this split because you live in a community property state.

I hope this makes sense to you?

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about being an injured spouse, other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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