You may be an injured spouse if you file a joint tax return and all or part of your portion of a refund was, or is expected to be, applied to your spouse's legally enforceable past due financial obligations. Here are seven facts about claiming injured or innocent spouse relief.
1. To be considered an injured spouse you must have paid federal income tax or claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit on the joint return, and not be legally obligated to pay the past-due debt.
2. Special rules apply in community property states. Give us a call for more information about the factors used to determine whether you are subject to community property laws.
3. If you filed a joint return and you're not responsible for the debt, but you are entitled to a portion of the refund, you may request your portion of the refund by filing Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which may be filed electronically with your original tax return or by itself after you receive an IRS notice about the offset. If you need assistance with this, please call us.
4. If you are claiming innocent spouse relief you must file form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. This relief from joint liability applies only in certain limited circumstances. However, in 2011 the IRS eliminated the two-year time limit that applies to certain relief requests.
Are you an injured or innocent spouse? Call us. We'll make sure you get the relief you are entitled to.