There is a lot of confusion about Injured Spouse and what it does.
Here’s the scenario that Injured Spouse protection was meant to address: let’s say you just married somebody who has to pay child support payments and is behind; or maybe they owe back taxes. When your spouse has filed his/her return in the past, the IRS has kept any refund and applied it toward these old obligations. Now that you’re married, you want the benefits and lower tax rates from the Married Filing Jointly Status, but you don’t want your refund to be taken to pay off your spouse’s debts. When you filed the return, your preparer would have to complete the Injured Spouse form and you would receive the amount of the refund that applies to you.
The form for Injured Spouse (8379) differentiates between your income and that of your spouse. In general, whatever percent of the total joint income you earned, that’s the percentage of the refund you will receive. If you earned most of the income, you will receive most of the refund.
Lots of times people are so skeptical about Injured Spouse that they don’t even want to try it; in their view, they risk not receiving the money. There is no reason to worry about this, the form is very simple and the rules are straightforward.
If you are wanting to file an Injured Spouse tax return, give us a call and set up an appointment to meet with us face to face. Kansas City Tax Mediation: Let’s get through this together.