Injured Spouse is a program where a spouse can get relief when the IRS withholds a joint refund due to the debts of the other spouse. These debts can be any of the following:
Tax Defense Network: Injured Spouse Relief
Injured Spouse Relief is most commonly mistaken for Innocent Spouse Relief, but the two programs are distinct. Injured Spouse involves one party of a joint refund seeking to be pardoned from the IRS seizing the entire refund to pay the other party’s debt. If a taxpayer is entered into the Injured Spouse program, he or she can be absolved from having to pay their spouse’s debt with their portion of the tax refund.
The share of the refund is determined by allocating the wages, tax credits, and deductions for each spouse. Items that are shared between both parties, like interest from joint bank accounts, would be divided equally.
There are exceptions and exclusions for Injured Spouse, and some states in the US have rules that do not allow a spouse to be separated from their spouse’s debts when filing a joint return.