IRS Form 8379 is a legal paper needed to be completed in the situation when one of the partners (the one considered injured) wants to claim for a tax refund filed together with the second partner. The aggrieved partner can request it if there’s a place for shared overpayment applied to the overdue commitment of another partner.
The injured partner has to fill the form to receive their part of that joint refund. Another partner can’t add in the form any data.
Marital partners need to note if they obtain qualified business income (QBI, further), the IRS might require to fill Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR, as well. Check all requirements before filling IRS Form 8379.
How to define if you’re the aggrieved partner or not? Following the USA laws, the partners consider injured if they want to claim for a joint tax refund, and they find out a part, or all of their overpayment is credited towards the repayment of overdue state income tax, federal tax, kids assistance, state unemployment compensation debts, or a federal nontax debt (like a student loan) of their marital partners.
The US Treasury Department Bureau of the Fiscal Service is the supervising body that notifies the partner with debt about paying this debt in time. And the IRS delivers a Notice of Offset for federal tax debts to this exact partner.
Based on the laws of the USA, the partner can be considered innocent and request an Innocent Spouse Relief meaning they will pay only some part of the full amount of tax or won’t pay it at all. The grounds for applying for an Innocent Spouse Relief might be of the following nature:
If you apply for the Innocent Spouse Relief, you need to fill Form 8857 instead of Form 8379.
The aggrieved partner wishing to complete IRS Form 8379 for claiming for a joint tax refund needs to know it’s essential to file it as soon as they find out about the case of using their part of the tax refund as payment for the debts of their partner.
It’s also important to fill Form 8379 for every year you want to get a refund. You have to do it not further than three years after filing the original return or in two years after you first paid the tax. Due to section 6511, the deadlines can be prolonged in some cases. For more information, contact the IRS.
If you want to make changes to the finished Form 8379, file and attach Form 1040-X (and file one more Form 8370 if you don’t want your overpayment to be counted towards the debts of your partner). In the situation of attaching the joint return to the finished Form 8379, attach Form 8379 to the joint return in the order of the attachment sequence number. And if you file only Form 8379 and don’t need to make any changes in it, then attach copies of Forms W-2 and W-2G for each partner and any form of Forms 1099. Not adding these copies means your request might be declined, or the process of the tax refund will be significantly delayed.
No matter what is a form of your request and what collected documents you have, there is only one supervising body where you can officially file Form 8379. This supervising body is the International Revenue Service.
Usually, the time between you requesting a joint tax refund and the time you obtain it varies between 8 and 14 weeks. The timing depends on the documents you file at the IRS and your purposes.
There are two main ways you can fill Form 8379: you can either do it on your own, relying on the guidelines provided below, or you can utilize a form-building software and a PDR editor, which perfectly work together. By choosing the second option, you may be sure you save yourself from the headache caused by the form implementation.
But if you choose the first option, you still have the chance of skipping that headache, as you will have detailed guidelines as the guidance.
Study the General and Specific Guidelines
Before moving to the form completion, it’s advisable to check carefully general and specific guidelines referring to Form 8379. Don’t be lazy to check on them as it’s essential not to make a mistake while filling the form out as even one small mistake will lead to the remaking of the whole form. It means your request for the tax refund will be delayed or, what worse, declined, and you’ll have to go through the whole form completion process all over again.
That’s why spending half an hour on the examination with guidelines is nothing compared to the time on the correction of errors in the completed form.
Answer the Basic Questions
After you got acknowledged with guidelines, answer the basic questions in the first part of the form. Answer the questions relying on your situation and according to the regulations which you can find in the questions themselves.
Don’t forget to enter the year in which you fill Form 8379. After that, state if you, as an injured partner, request for a joint return, have to pay the overdue amount of money, and if you paid such taxes as a federal income tax and reported that.
Also, check the right box answering the question of whether you reported the supervising body about your income credit or child tax credit or not. State if you’re requesting a refundable tax credit, as well. Check the box with the right answer.
Provide the General Data on the Joint Tax Return
Note you have to write down the data according to the way it’s written on the tax return.
Write down initials, correct first and last names (which go first and second on the tax return), and social security numbers. Register who’s writing down the necessary data in the form.
Type if you want to receive separate refunds or refunds issued in both names. Enter if you need to receive the refund at the address that differs from the one you’ve already mentioned in your joint return, as well. If you choose a different address, write it down in the form.
Give the Data on the Allocation Between Partners
In this section of the form, you have to give detailed data on the distribution of items on the joint tax return between two partners. Give as many details as possible, and mind answering all the questions necessary for the form implementation.
Ensure the Signing of the Form
The aggrieved partner has to sign the form, enter the signing date and their phone number. After that, the person preparing the form completion (an injured partner can be this person) must type their full correct name, signing date, PTIN and sign the form afterward. If a person preparing the form is self-employed, they need to check the box.
Also, there must be data on the name of the company, correct address, phone number, and EIN.
Transfer the Form to the Supervising Body
After the form is finished and has all the necessary signatures, you need to transfer it to the Internal Revenue Service Center, where workers of the center will file your form and register your request.