IRS took money from my refund?

I just checked my bank account and saw our tax refund had been deposited, but it was short by a considerable amount of money (over $2000), so there's hardly a refund at all.

My husband forgot to file his taxes in 2002 and 2006 (he moved and apparently the W2s got lost in translation? I don't understand it, but that's a different problem...anyways)...That was before we were married.

Our 2007 taxes were filed together (b/c we had been married that year). I had no idea about him not filing until our refund was held for a very LONG time. Upon calling, they informed us what the problem was. Last summer we received a notice from the IRS telling us what he owed. We have a friend who is an accountant working on this issue, but he's busy and it's taking him a really LONG time to do it. We can't afford to pay someone b/c I lost my job last June and have been unemployed. In April, we did our taxes for this year with Turbo Tax and submitted them on time. The refund just came through last night and it's all wrong. I checked online and the amount they have there is what was submitted. What happened to the rest of the money? I spoke with a father and he said they couldn't penalize our refund based on this years return b/c we filed jointly, and the taxes he owes are from when he was still single. I know the amount we did on Turbo tax was correct b/c I checked it several times to make sure all the info was accurate. I can't call the IRS b/c they are not open on Saturdays but I'm just so upset. We were counting on that money just to get caught up with all the bills we've been behind on these past few months. I want the IRS to get the money he owes them but, I'm so confused by all of this. Can someone please help me?


Kaplan- You're an ***. READ the question before you make your abrasive and overly punctuated comments.

For the rest of you, thank you all so much. I appreciate all the info. I have been on him about this and tried to handle it myself with the IRS, but b/c it's under his name they won't discuss it with me. Very frustrating. I'm going to call them tomorrow and find out about filing the other two years myself. Turbo tax is available for 2006, though the other one is going to be difficult to find. Thankfully I made copies of all the documents before they were handed off to his friend. Hopefully things will work out. The IRS should get their money, it is owed after all. It's just frustrating now b/c we need it so badly.

Thanks again for all the info.

14 Answers

  • kapn
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You forgot to pay your tax's in 2002 and have back tax's, penalties and will have to contact the IRS and set up a repayment schedule........the IRS always gets their money........they never shouldn't ignore and IRS bill you got last you think that they would just forget...........your failed to contact them as they required...... now your on their hit list........your friend the accountant won't be able to help you........just pay up and move on........gonna cost ya........

  • Judy
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    You figured out what happened. If he owes from previous years, they took whatever they think he owes out of your refund this year. And whoever told you they can't do that because it's from before you were married is WRONG.

    There are 2 things you can do now:

    1) get those old returns filed - sounds like you're already working on that. It might turn out that he owes less than the IRS calculated, if he had some deductions or credits they didn't know about - but if you and he just ignored that letter he got last year from the IRS telling him what he owed, he might have given up his right to disagree. And remember there are penalties and interest for the time between when he should have filed and now. And I'd consider finding someone other than your accountant friend if he's been "working on it" since last summer but hasn't done it yet.

    2) You can file an injured spouse form. Then if any of the refund that was taken was due to YOUR income and withholding rather than your husband's, you'd get your part back.

  • 10 years ago

    The father is wrong. The IRS can, does, and must take money from a jointly filed tax return to satisfy any past due tax debt owned by either spouse. Under certain circumstances, if you file special paperwork declaring yourself an "injured spouse", which you did not do, then the IRS will take only the portion of the refund belonging to the spouse who owed the debt, and not the portion belonging to the other person. Because you were not aware of this rule and did not file that paperwork, the IRS can take all of the refund. The IRS will not, under any circumstances, take none of the refund when the tax debt is this far past due, except possibly if a payment plan is in place and is current.

  • 10 years ago

    Your hubby's procrastination is costing you both. FORGOT!?! The IRS sent him some reminders, and after offsetting (grabbing) part of this year's refund, they sent a letter about it.

    He owes back taxes and the government took part of this year's refund to satisfy his debt. Simple, really. Why give you a refund when you owe them money--ridiculous to do so. IRS is slow but relentless, and hubby needs to settle up with IRS to avoid continuing problems.

    Even though your beloved's debt arose before you were married to him, the IRS can grab the joint refund. And if you were unemployed, it was his refund being grabbed to satisfy his old debt.

    What you need to do is get those old W-2s and file the taxes for those years. The IRS may not have figured his tax liability in the most favorable way. If he can't get the W-2s from his former employers, he can get a transcript of the w-2s from the IRS and use that to file taxes.

    IGNORE Lindsay, since you're married and together, your ONLY options are MFJ or MFS. You can also file injured spouse allocation with MFJ. And you cannot amend to change your filing status now.

    Source(s): tax pro
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 10 years ago

    The only thing that you can do now is file a Form 8379 to try and protect your share of any refund from the joint return. As long as you had some income and tax withholding from 2009 and as long as you don't live in CA, ID, or LA, you may get something.

    The IRS can and will offset any refund on a joint return for tax or certain other debts of EITHER spouse. Whether those debts originated before you were married or not is irrelevant.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    If either of the parties to a joint return have a delinquent tax balance, IRS will apply refunds to pay it. That's the way it is. If your accountant can show that too much tax was assessed you can get the difference refunded eventually.

  • 4 years ago

    I'm starting to wonder if those of you in this boat had your returns put in the error department like mine, but because they went in sooner, came out sooner...and that's why you have a February 9th date. I filed on the 20th and it's still in error recovery and has been since the 20th. Now, you may want to call the IRS, cause I have been seeing some answerers say that their WMR shows the 9th, but then when they call the IRS, have been told the IRS shows a DD of the 29th.

  • 10 years ago

    Alison is correct. The best source of info on the IRS is some "BLOG"! Better yet some relative like a father who has no tax or legal background is also very reliable. Also anyone who tells you "I know a guy who knows I guy who once..." is very reliable.

    Seriously, call the 1-800 number on the 100s of letters the IRS sent your hubby that he has used to shore up the short leg on that table. Go to

    Source(s): COMMON SENSE 101
  • tro
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    anyplace the SS# of your husband appears in any and all tax records will be subject to examination

    the old taxes from previous years will catch up with him and now that you are married to him will include you as well

    and as for your not being able to discuss your jointly filed tax return is not true, you are a co taxpayer

    the previous years when he filed as single, no you would not be able to discuss those issues

    you probably need to file an amended return and include the injured spouse form to separate your portion of the refund from his

  • 10 years ago

    Yes, the IRS can take your tax refund even if you filed married and he didn't pay when he was single. My husband defaulted on his federal student loans while we were separated for a year, and the IRS told him they will take all future refunds he gets, married or not. I had to file "head of household" which worked out since we were separated anyway. I was able to keep my portion of the refund. Maybe you can amend your return?

    Source(s): life
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.