The terms “innocent spouse” and “injured spouse” are frequently misunderstood. These are two different situations under our current tax code. A previous blog discussed the concept of an innocent spouse under IRS rules (See Innocent Spouse Relief by John Stancil). An innocent spouse is one who stands has filed a joint return and is exposed to liability for additional taxes due to fraudulent activity on the part of the other spouse. An injured spouse is someone whose refund is captured by the IRS to satisfy a debt owed by the other spouse. An injured spouse claim, if accepted by the IRS, can prevent this from happening. A claim is made by filing Form 8379 with the IRS.
First, some background. When spouses file joint returns, each spouse is liable for anything that is included on the return. In addition, there is joint liability for any Read more