Recovery of refund by non-liable (Injured) spouse

Recovery of refund by non-liable (Injured) spouse

  • May 3, 2011
  • David Greene
  • Comments Off on Recovery of refund by non-liable (Injured) spouse

Before I answer the question, let me inform everyone that Tax Freedom Day arrived on April 12 this year.  This is the day when you have earned enough to pay your federal, state and local taxes, i.e., we worked for the government until April 12.



A non-liable spouse can recover his/her part of the joint refund.  Any time a married couple files a joint return and the refund is kept due to only one spouse owing prior taxes, there is a process for the non-liable spouse to recover his/her part of the refund.  The non-liable spouse is called an Injured Spouse.

To qualify, the injured spouse (a) must have had federal income tax withheld from wages, made estimated tax payments or claimed a refundable tax credit and (b) not be liable for the delinquent tax.  The injured spouse must file a Form 8379 either with the tax return or by itself later.

This relief also applies to the IRS taking refunds for other types of delinquent payments.  If a joint refund is held due to one spouse being delinquent in state taxes, child or spousal support or a federal non-tax debt, such as student loans, the non-liable spouse may file for injured spouse relief in these situations also.

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