How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Merlo Your Own Question
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
Type Your Tax Question Here...
Merlo is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How do you cash a joint fed tax return check if your spouse

This answer was rated:

How do you cash a joint fed tax return check if your spouse has moved to a foreign country and cannot be located?



Unfortunately you cannot legally deposit an IRS refund check which is made payable to both you and your spouse. There are various reasons for this, but one of the main problems the IRS has had in the past is with taxpayers who are separated or divorced, and where one taxpayer is trying to keep the entire refund without their spouse's knowledge. When something like that occurs, the other spouse may come back and file a claim for their share of the refund. The IRS can hold a bank responsible in such an instance where they accept a check with only one endorsement.


Your only option here would be to return the check to the IRS and request that it be re-issued in your name only. In the case where a spouse is "missing", you would also need to provide one of the following documents:


1. Copy of police report or missing person report filed with police.

2. Certification from state or local government that the spouse cannot be found.

3. A copy of notice printed in a newspaper where you have tried to locate the spouse.


I am giving you a link below to a section of the IRS website which addresses these issues. Please refer to the section for joint filers requesting a refund in one name.


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


Thank you.


Merlo and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you