See also innocent spouse relief, and Missouri combined returns.

The non-liable spouse can be considered an “injured spouse” and can recover their share of the joint refund when a joint return is filed and only one spouse owes:

  • past due federal tax;
  • past-due child support;
  • past-due spousal support;
  • a federal debt; or
  • state income tax.

You can file a “separate” or joint return with a request for injured spouse relief.

Requirements for injured spouse claim:

  • Filed a joint tax return;
  • Have reported income (such as wages, interest, etc.);
  • Have made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withheld from wages or estimated tax payments) or claimed the earned income credit or other refundable credit; and
  • Have an overpayment, all or part of which can be applied against the past-due amount.

When should I file ?

  • With your joint return, attach the form to the return in the order of the attachment sequence number and enter “Injured Spouse” in the upper left corner of the return
  • After you have filed, mail Form 8379 by itself to the same IRS Service Center where you lived when you filed your joint return. Include copies of all Form W-2, Form W-2G, and any Form 1099-R showing income tax withheld for both spouses.

Overpayments involving community property states will be allocated according to state law.

You can file electronically.