How to Complete an Injured Spouse Form 8739

How to Complete an Injured Spouse Form 8739

IRS Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, allows married couples to avoid disagreements over tax refunds that may be seized by the IRS due to past tax owed by one of the spouses.

To obtain the tax refund allocation relief, the injured spouse should complete the Injured Spouse Allocation IRS Form 8379. Filing this form will allow the injured spouse to request that he or she receive an appropriate allocation of the refund owed for overpayment of taxes from a jointly filed tax return, rather than allowing them to be used to cover past-due taxes owed by the other spouse.

Now let us discuss the details for completing Form 8379, including where to mail to tax form, how long it takes for IRS to process the relief and other considerations.

What is Form 8379?

The IRS Injured Spouse Form, or Form 8379, should be completed for taxpayers that believe they are entitled to relief under the injured spouse rule.

Requirements for Qualifying

You may qualify as a person able to file the injured spouse relief form with the IRS if:
(1) you are filing a joint return with a spouse that owes past-due taxes, and
(2) you reasonably believe that the tax refund from the joint return may be used by the IRS to cover the past-due taxes owed by the spouse.

Innocent Spouse Relief versus Injured Spouse Allocation

Two types of forms are available for a spouse to request relief due to actions caused by a spouse or former spouse. It is important to note that the injured spouse allocation IRS form is different from the innocent spouse relief. If you are seeking relief under the innocent spouse relief rule from the IRS, then you should file the IRS Form 8857 instead. You should not also file the injured spouse allocation form with the IRS if you file the innocent spouse relief form.

It is a good idea to explore the requirements for both forms and to consult with a tax professional if you need assistance in determining which form is the correct one for you to pursue when seeking relief with the IRS. The IRS offers guidance on the innocent spouse allocation relief form on its webpage. Now let’s break down the instructions for how to file this form.

How to File

There are a few options for when you file the Form 8379:

  • With your joint tax return;
  • With your amended joint tax return; or
  • By itself.

The Injured Spouse Allocation Form should only be filed with your joint tax return or your joint amended tax return if you are seeking a joint tax refund from the IRS.

If you file this form with a joint tax return, either the original one or an amended one, then you should attach Form 8379 to that joint tax return.

If you file the injured spouse allocation IRS form separately from the joint tax return, then you should attach a copy of the following forms as well:

  • Form W-2 and Form W-2G for both spouses that are on the joint tax return for which you are seeking a refund from; and
  • All relevant Form 1099s that show applicable tax withholdings relating to the injured spouse allocation you are submitting.

If you do not file a copy of these forms and you file the form separately from the joint return, then it can delay how long it takes to process.

Where to File

If you file a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation Form, by itself, then you should mail it to the IRS center where the original joint tax return was filed. If you file it with the joint tax return or amended a joint tax return, then it should go to the IRS center for the area you are located in.

Filing an Amended Tax Return

If you are submitting an amended joint return with your spouse and requesting an additional refund but are aware of past-due taxes owed by your spouse, then you may want to consider filing the Form 8379 with this amended joint tax return. The reason to do so is if you do not want all or a portion of a tax refund you believe you should receive from a joint tax return to be used by the IRS to offset back taxes owed by the other spouse on the joint return. It is crucial to attach Form 8379 with this amended joint tax return filing.

How Long Does It Take to Process?

When the injured spouse return is filed with a joint tax return, the IRS advises that it takes about 14 weeks to process, if filed by paper. If it is submitted electronically, then it takes about 11 weeks.

If the form is filed separately, after the joint return to which it pertains to has already been filed, then it takes about 8 weeks for the IRS to process the supplemental injured spouse allocation form.

To make sure there are no delays to you receiving your refund, it is a good idea to contact a professional tax expert for help with gathering all information, submitting the form to the correct location, and completing it on time, fully and accurately.

Deadline to File

You have three years to file the injured spouse allocation relief form with the IRS from the due date of the original joint tax return that you are seeking a refund from so that it is not applied to offset taxes owed by your spouse. This deadline is extended if there are extensions granted by the IRS for that year. In these cases, you have three years from the due date of the extension granted by the IRS.

OR, you have two years to file this form from the date in which you paid the tax that you are now seeking a refund because it was later offset to cover past taxes due by your spouse or former spouse.

The deadline for filing is whichever date is later between the two above mentioned timeframes.

If you need back tax help in Houston, such as with filing the injured spouse form (IRS Form 8379), then contact us for more information.


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