Injured Spouse

Injured Spouse Claim

If you filed a joint return and you're not responsible for your spouse's debt, you're entitled to request your portion of the refund back from the IRS. You may file a claim for this amount by filing Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation.

You may file Form 8379 in any of the following ways:

  • With your original joint tax return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR),
  • With your amended joint tax return (Form 1040-X), or
  • By itself after you receive notification of an offset.

When filing a Form 8379 with your joint return by mail or with an amended return, write "Injured Spouse" in the top left corner of the first page of the joint return.

The IRS can process your Form 8379 before an offset occurs. If you file Form 8379 with your original return, it may take 11 weeks to process an electronically-filed return or 14 weeks if you filed a paper return. If you file the Form 8379 by itself after a joint return has been processed, then processing will take about 8 weeks. To avoid delays, be sure to follow the Instructions for Form 8379.

When filing Form 8379 by itself, you must show both spouses' taxpayer identification numbers in the same order as they appeared on your joint income tax return. You, the injured spouse, must sign the form. Follow the instructions on Form 8379 carefully and be sure to attach the required Forms W-2 and W-2G for both spouses and any Forms 1099 showing federal income tax withholding to avoid delays. Don't attach the previously filed joint tax return. Send Form 8379 to the Service Center where you filed your original return and allow at least 8 weeks for the IRS to process your request. The IRS will compute the injured spouse's share of the joint refund. If you lived in a community property state during the tax year, the IRS will divide the joint refund based upon state community property law. Not all debts are subject to a tax refund offset. To determine whether an offset will occur on a debt owed (other than federal tax), contact BFS's TOP call center at 800-304-3107 (800-877-8339 for TTY/TDD help).