If my spouse owes back taxes, will his tax debt affect my return?
Yes. The IRS can apply all or part of your joint refund to your spouse’s legally enforceable past-due debt.
You can file Form 8379: injured spouse allocation to recover your share of the joint refund if:
- You filed a joint return.
- The joint return had a refund due — all or part of which will be applied against your spouse’s back taxes.
- You aren’t legally obligated to pay the debt — your spouse is the only one who owes the debt.
- You reported income (Ex: wages, taxable interest) on the joint return.
- You did one or both of these:
The IRS must review your return to allocate part of the refund to you and part to your spouse’s back taxes. It usually takes 11-14 weeks to process your refund.