Your tax refund could be less than you were expecting if you you have outstanding debt in certain areas. Congress recently authorized the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) to take place through the Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Fiscal Service (BFS) which issues IRS tax refunds. Under this program your refund or overpayment may be reduced and taken by the BFS to pay any:
- Past-due child support
- Federal agency non-tax debts
- State income tax obligations
- Certain unemployment compensation debts owed to a state (generally debts for compensation that were paid due to fraud or contributions due to a state fund that were not paid due to fraud)
Guidelines for Filing Form 8379 the Injured Spouse Allocation
- By filing Form 8379 the Injured Spouse Allocation you may request your portion of the refund if you filed a joint return and you are not responsible for the debt.
- Form 8379 may be filed with your original joint tax return (form 1040) your amended joint tax return (form 1040X) or by itself after you are notified of an offset.
- If you file Form 8379 with your joint return and write “INJURED SPOUSE” in the top left corner of the first page of the return the IRS will process the form before the offset occurs.
- Filing Form 8379 with your original or amended joint tax return may take up to 11 weeks to process if you filed electronically or 14 weeks if you filed a paper return.
- Both spouses’ social security numbers must appear on Form 8379 in the same order as they appeared on your joint income tax return.
- You the “injured” spouse must sign the form and follow the instructions carefully and be sure to attach all required forms to avoid delays.
- Send the Form 8379 to the Service Center where you filed your original return and allow at least 8 weeks for the IRS to compute the injured spouse’s share of the joint return for you.
If you need additional information on refund offset penalties or have tax return questions contact us here and a professional team member will get back with you.