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I need advice on how to file. I use Tax Act to file my own

taxes every year. My taxes...
I need advice on how to file. I use Tax Act to file my own taxes every year. My taxes are basic. Married and 1 child living at home. Mortgage interest, and thats about it outside charitable contributions.

Heres where it got weird last year. My wife of 20 years got a judgement against her by the state of Texas, (we live in Idaho) via an ex boyfriend who has her 22 year old son in college now. The judgement was for 20,000 in back child support. Best guess is someone told him he could get money this way. We don't know.
Anyway, the state of Idaho took our tax return last year but Federal did not. I called and got my half back.
Idaho state law says any back child support over 500 will be attached to Federal. So I'm thinking it just didn't hit in time to claim my Federal tax return.

My wife and ex boyfriend settled all this a long time ago. My wife has Multiple Sclerosis and is 100% disabled and can not work outside the home. She has no benefits of any kind.
I , now the injured spouse in all of this am paying for a child thats not mine.
Idaho is a community property state, so if my wife is on my return at all theyll take half.
I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.

I would rather the Federal Govt and the state of Idaho get my money.
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
9/26/2013
Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 30,663
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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Lev :

Hi and welcome to our site!
Sorry for your situation, however the same may occur with your federal refund...

Lev :

The Department of Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS), which issues IRS tax refunds, has been authorized by Congress to conduct the Treasury Offset Program. Through this program, your refund or overpayment may be reduced by FMS and offset to pay past-due child support...

Lev :

If you filed a joint return and you are not responsible for the debt, but you are entitled to a portion of the refund, you may request your portion of the refund by filing Form 8379 , Injured Spouse Allocation. You may file Form 8379 with your original joint tax return, with your amended joint tax return, or by itself after you are notified of an offset. If you file a Form 8379 with your joint return, write "INJURED SPOUSE" in the top left corner of the first page of the joint return. The IRS will process your Form 8379 before an offset occurs. If you file Form 8379 with your original or amended joint tax return, it may take 11 weeks for electronically-filed returns or 14 weeks if you file a paper return, to process your return.
Because Idaho is a community property state - all income is generally divided between spouses regardless who earned that income. Thus - your wages are treated as half your income and half your spouse's income.
By filing the Form 8379 - you will be able to protect your portion of the refund only because you personally are not responsible for that debt.

Customer:

Can I file married/separate and come out with the same outcome?

Customer:

That would simplify and keep the speed of the return to the 8 days for electronic returns.

Lev :

You can file separate tax return - that is not an issue.
The issue is that Idaho is a community property state - all income is generally divided between spouses regardless who earned that income. Thus - your wages are treated as half your income and half your spouse's income.
If you file separate tax return - each of you should report half of wages.

Customer:

She's not required to file. She has no reportable income.

Customer:

Are you saying she's required to report half of MY Earnings if I file Married /Separate

Lev :

Unfortunately - because you are in a community property state - half of your income is considered HER income - and she will be required to file.

Customer:

what would she file? \50% of my W2?

Lev :

That is correct - if separate returns are filed - each of you will use form 8958 - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-access/f8958_accessible.pdf
and wages will be divided equally between spouses. That is because you are living in the community property state.

Lev :

Community property laws affect how you figure your income on your federal income tax return if you are married, live in a community property state or country, and file separate returns.
Wages, earnings, and profits. A spouse's wages, earnings, and net profits from a sole proprietorship are community income and must be evenly split.
See IRS publication 555 for reference - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p555.pdf

Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 30,663
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