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Form 8379 for Injured Spouses

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A Guide to Form 8379 for Injured Spouses (2024 Update)

Tax season have been identified as quite stressful. Even for married couples, who are looking forward to filing their tax return this year, it can be potentially quite perplexing, particularly, when one of the spouses has been held liable for the tax liability. 

Remember, you can qualify as an “injured spouse”  if your joint tax refund is being used in order to repay the past due debts from federal taxes of your spouse, repay student loans, or have been incurred for extending support to a child. If you have been categorized as an injured spouse, this is where, Form 8379 in:

What is Form 8379?

According to the legal definition, Form 8379, is officially titled “Injured Spouse Allocation.” This form, allows you, as an injured spouse, to ask for the cut of the of the overpayment from a jointly filed tax return.

Thus allowing you to recover your share of the refund despite it was being used to repay the debts of your spouse. 

Do You Qualifies as an Injured Spouse?

If you fit the following requirements, certainly, you qualify as an injured spouse:

  1. Over the years, you have been filing joint tax return.
  2. Your joining tax refund is being used to repay your spouse’s due federal taxes as per the IRS. 
  3. Legally, you are not obliged to pay the debts of your spouse. 
  4. From the amount you earned in the previous mont, you did not gain any benefit from it 
  5. You have reportyed to made payment on the joint return, such as income tax returns. 

Key Considerations for 2024:

The following are key considerations you must keep in mind: 

  1. Community Property Laws: For 2024 tax year and the years ahead, community property laws will still be under consideration at the time of determination of an injured spouse, according to the IRS. According to this, the property states, debts and incomes are usually considered to be shared, thus impacting the amount of refunds you can claim in the future. 

What You Must Do if You Think You Qualify?

Step by step follow the guide to ensure you do not miss anything: 

  1. Gather Documentation: Gather all the documents accurately that prove that you qualify as an injured spouse; these documents are copies of tax returns, your spouses’ debt repay copies, income statements, proof of separate bank accounts, etc. 
  2. Complete Form 8379: From the IRS website, you can complete and download the Form 8379 after following the necessary instructions ( Whatever details have been asked, fill out accurately, remember not to miss anything or make unwanted blunders. 
  3. File Form 8379: depending upon your preferences, you can either submit the completed Form 8379 alone or even with your tax return. If you have opted to file your tax return electronically, you are required to file your tax return through email.  

What is the Processing Timeline?

According to the details outlined by the IRS, generally your Form 8379 will most likely take 8 to 12 weeks to be processed. Once your application has been processed, you will then be notified by the IRS for your requested claim. 

Bottom Line: 

Although dealing with the intricacies of tax such Form 8379 etc. is considered to be a nightmare for many, this nightmare can be potentially managed with ease and comfort if approached with proper planning, however, the assistance of knowledgeable professionals such as is deemed necessary in or to comply with the updated laws and regulations.

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