The phrase “injured spouse” has nothing to do with being physically hurt. In the tax world, you might be an injured spouse if you file a joint tax return when your spouse has past debts the IRS can collect. Even if you should be getting a refund, the IRS might use all or part of your refund to pay your spouse’s debts.
An injured spouse claim can help you get back your part of a tax refund from a joint tax return. It applies where the IRS has intercepted the refund to offset a debt owed by your spouse but not by you.
If you qualify as an injured spouse keep in mind the claim will increase the processing time for your refund. But…at least you’ll actually get it!
If you file Form 8379 with a joint return electronically, the time needed to process it is about 11 weeks.
If you file Form 8379 with a joint return on paper, the time needed is about 14 weeks.
If you file Form 8379 by itself after a joint return has already been processed, the time needed is about 8 weeks.