These allocation claims are available—to provide relief to the partner who had no control over their spouse’s outstanding tax bills (such as unpaid child support, past-due student loans, and certain other types of federal non-tax debt).
With this kind of claim, the partner who was unaffected by those debts is allocated their share of any tax refunds that may be due. That way, the IRS cannot pursue collection from the innocent spouse, and the injured spouse is able to keep whatever money is due to them.
It’s important to note that Form 8379 cannot be used to request a larger refund than you are due. It is designed only to protect an innocent spouse from being held liable for their partner’s debts. It is also worth mentioning that Form 8379 can be submitted solely to contest an IRS request to pay an existing debt.
The process of filing for an injured spouse claim begins with filing Form 8379. This form must be filed separately from the standard joint income tax return. It will ask for financial information, such as your and your spouse’s individual incomes and deduction amounts, as well as any debts owed by either of you. The form also requires a detailed explanation of how any existing debt could have affected the innocent spouse.
The IRS recommends that you wait for their initial review of the Form 8379 before taking any further action. If they find an issue with your claim, they will contact you to discuss it. But if they accept your claim, they will send a check covering your portion of the credited refund.
Before filing Form 8379, contact the IRS for more information about this relief program. You can do this by calling their helpline or searching for it on their website. The experts at the helpline are well versed in the intricacies of the program and can assist you in determining whether or not you qualify.
There is also a related Form 8857: Request for Innocent Spouse Relief which allows you to request relief from a tax liability involving a spouse or a former spouse responsible for the tax. This form should be used if you have received a notice from the IRS that requires payment of a joint tax debt or an assessment of penalty relief and interest.
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