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Merlo
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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I recently got married (1 1/2 yr. ago) but my wife and I file

Customer Question

I recently got married (1 1/2 yr. ago) but my wife and I file seperately. The IRS is withholding her tax return because of tax debts I incurred before we were married. Do I have any recourse in preventing this ?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.
HelloCustomer

There is no way that the IRS would hold your wife's tax return if you filed separately, unless she owes her own tax debt, or if she owes some other money for child support or student loans.

Are you certain you filed separate returns?

Are you certain your wife does not have some offset of her own?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Just spoke to my wife. She thinks she filed jointly by mistake. She ticked the box marked for married but only one income because I am unable to work. Is there anyway to fix this?

Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.
Hello again Greg,

Yes, you may be able to still get a portion of your refund, as it pertains to your wife's share of the joint income. In other words, if your combined income as reported on your joint return was 50% your income and 50% from your wife's income, then you may still be able to get 50% of the refund that pertained to your wife's ahre of the income.

To apply for this, your wife must File Form 8379 as an Injured Spouse. She may file this for any year where you both filed jointly and had your entire refund withheld as a result of your past due tax debt.

In the future, you may continue to file joint returns and also file the Form 8379, or you may file separate returns to avoid this issue.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.

Thank you.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Is there not anyway she can refile seperately? As you can probably imagine my being off work due to my injuries has left us in dire straits financially. In other words is there another solution other than filing Form 8379 ?
Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.
Hello again Greg,

Unfortunately this is the only way you can handle this.

You would be allowed to file amended returns using Form 1040X if you filed these before the due date of April 15th, but this is not allowed in a case where the only reason for filing the amended return is to claim the Injured Spouse allocation.

And to be honest with you, even if it were allowed, it would take just as long (and probably even longer) to process amended returns, than it does filing the Form 8379. This is going to be the only way that you are able to recover a portion of your refund, and there is just nothing you can do to speed up the processing. Wish I could have given you better news, and I can sympathize with the situation you are in.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.

Thank you.