Scheduled Relief for Injured Spouses Whose Stimulus Payments Were Sent Elsewhere for Past Due Child Support

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When the IRS hastily set up the program for making the stimulus payments authorized by the CARES Act, it did not carefully program its computers to distinguish the cases in which one spouse on a joint return claimed injured spouse status.  If you are not familiar with injured spouse status, find an explanation here.

Given the haste with which the IRS worked to accomplish the task it was given, this oversight is understandable, but it has created a lot of pain among those whose stimulus payments were diverted to pay past due child support of their current spouse.  As a reminder past due child support was the only liability for which the stimulus payments were offset.  We have written about this issue previously here, here and here.  We have received more comments on this issue than any issue on which we have blogged.

In a blog post on Monday, August 10, the National Taxpayer Advocate provides a chart of problems with the stimulus payments that the IRS is fixing or is not fixing.  The problem of wrongly diverting the stimulus payments of injured spouses is one that the IRS is working to fix.  The chart provided by the NTA indicates that the IRS anticipates fixing this problem by the end of August and getting the wrongly diverted checks to these individuals by that time.  It also indicates that individuals who have not received their checks by that point can come into TAS for assistance.


There is still a distinction between individuals who filed the injured spouse form with their return and those who did not.  Many individuals who know that their spouse has an outstanding liability such as child support or a student loan that will cause the offset of their refund year after year, routinely file the injured spouse form with the return so that the refund due to the non-liable spouse will flow through unimpeded by the offset provisions.  In normal circumstances the filing of the injured spouse form with the return keeps the offset from occurring.  Here it did not and that’s what the IRS is working to fix.  For individuals who did not file the injured spouse form with the return perhaps because this is the first year of the joint return, they do not claim a refund or for some other reason, it will be necessary for those individuals to file the injured spouse form in order to obtain the release of their stimulus payment.

TAS has not been accepting cases involving many of the problems created by stimulus payments because it viewed that it had no ability to assist taxpayers with many of those problems.  On an individual case level, there was little or nothing it could do to fix their problems if the IRS had not developed a fix.  On a systemic basis, it could have filed a broader taxpayer directive.  Whether such an act would have sped up the fixing of the problems is unknown.  The chart shows the cases on which the IRS is creating fixes, the time frames and the cases TAS will now accept.  As mentioned above, it also shows the cases that the IRS is not fixing and that TAS will not accept.  Some of those cases are the subject of litigation that we are covering with other post.  Some of those cases are not mentioned in the chart such as the cases of deceased individuals and prisoners.

The chart is helpful both in providing timeframes and in setting a marker for the fixes the IRS is not undertaking.  It’s wonderful that the NTA is giving out this information and providing it in an easy to digest format.  The IRS might consider doing the same in a prominent place on its website since not everyone receives the NTA blog posts.


  1. Melinda Berry says

    I was one of the 200 that left a comment on the initial blog post. We have created a turbo tax thread in the community area and have been talking with each other throughout this horrible ordeal. I appreciate all the updates, but at this point I am not going to get excited. I just can’t believe something like this could happen in this country. So ridiculous.

  2. What is TAS? Is there a number for them?

  3. I was also one who commented on your blog as being one who didn’t receive any stimulus money for myself or my son due to my husband’s back child support, which I am not legally responsible for. I’m glad to see people still fighting to get their money. Would be nice to get it sooner rather than later especially if they approve this 2nd stimulus package. IRS needs to fix the glitches with the first round before any more starts going out.

  4. Actually hogwash. If this were all true, then why was my name not on my husband’s EIP but his was on mine.? This was done by a scorned woman. We should have received half of each payment or mine should have been in my individual name.

    • I know that as being an injured (spouse) my wife owes back support and I have filed injured spouse forms the last 4 years for federal and state taxes and only had it worked once now this stimulus money is the same way they took the whole 2400 dollars .have no problem them keeping half , federal and state municipalities, the IRS wonder why they are not much cared for or respected , with the technology in the word now days they cannot do a split on injured spouse forms.

  5. I myself did not receive the first stimulus check due to my recent husbands back child support. I filed jointly this past year also, but later i filed a injured spousal allocation form a couple weeks later is it possible that i will receive a stimulus check?

  6. Tara Nisseb says

    I am on the list as well. My step daughter passed away and so did her mother 3 years ago. His daughter was 26 at the time. My husband has been separated from his daughter since the age 4. It’s a vy sad story. He only owes 2,420 dollars to the State of Kentucky an apparently The State of Kentucky feels they need paid back for food stamps and child support more than my family. At the time I accepted it because it would have been paid off and I was doing well at my job. Over the last 3 months my situation has changed and my commission checks have been cut down a third of what I normally receive. I got a letter from Kentucky stating they sent my half back to the IRS and now my family needs the money! We are getting. Deeper in debit and my credit score has gone down a 109 points. This money would have helped. It still would have been less then I normally receive in commission over 3 months but it would really help.I don’t understand if it was returned to the IRS. THEN WHY CAN’T THEY RELEASE IT TO ME? THEY ARE COLLECTING INTEREST ON MINE AND MANY OTHER FAMILIES MONEY WHEN WE NEED IT THE MOST. THIS IS VERY DISHEARTING

  7. Bobby Edwards says

    They was very fast to intercept my stimulus, but taking an act of Congress to try and get it back. I’m the injured spouse and my wife’s Child Support took my stimulus. I need it ASAP because we are struggling!!

  8. This is ridiculous! It is not their money so they don’t care… I pray everyone gets their money but it’s like beating your head against a brick wall because no one wants to help and the ones who want to help are clueless. If this was such an emergency for our country no one should have had money halted. I am flabbergasted but not surprised, this current administration has wreaked havoc on this country and economy.

  9. It happened to me too, they took mine and my 3 kids own share, which is unfair. I would think that because we’re in a pandemic health emergency that child support shouldn’t even be taken. Which if that was the case because of this stimulus check we recieve n child support wants to garnish, they should have the ones who are incarcerated fill out the EIP Nonfiler form also so that child support could garnish their stimulus check for their own child/children coz of serving almost life in prison, it’s only fair that way. Coz for is who files married jointly and it’s not their spouse that owes to child support own income and isnt working that it should be fair for the ones incarcerated to apply for the stimulus check coz even them isnt working to have income. In 2017 tax filing I filed injured spouse form separated. In 2018 I filed injured spouse together with my tax form. So if the IRS is going to give back to the ones that filed injured spouse form from the EIP Stimulus that was garnished, how do they process the ones that filed taxes with filing injured spouse form are they giving our portion back from what they took from our refund??

  10. Injured spouse here, it is now December and I still have not received my share of the eip, as my check was offset because of my husband debt for child support. Have called IRS, they said that I could file or not the injured spouse allocation, either way I’d receive my portion. I recieved a letter in October and no check. When I check my payment portal it says I was paid on October 28th, I brought this to their attention, they still had no straight answer. WE ARE STRUGGLING, STARVING AND OUR UNEMPLOYMENT HAS RUN OUT DURING THIS PANDEMIC WHERE WE CANNOT PERFORM OUR JOBS, IF IT WASNT FOR THE PANDEMIC WE COULD WORK! I THOUGHT THIS MONEY WAS TO HELP AMERICANS? WHAT A JOKE! WHERE IS THE MONEY? MY MONEY!? So unfair, it’s like a 3rd world country here and no one will help! Been eating cereal to just get by, I need my check please….what do I do?

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