Injured Spouse Stimulus Payment
On Friday, May 8, the IRS posted Economic Impact Payment FAQ #31 acknowledging that it was aware of the problem that many couples have encountered with the EIP payments. The FAQ indicates that the IRS is working to fix the problem and taxpayers do not need to do anything to cause the IRS to fix their problem. While it is understandable that programming errors would occur when the IRS put together its system so quickly under intense pressure, this issue has created significant financial (and no doubt marital) problems for those impacted. The FAQ does not indicate when the payments will be undone, and checks issued to the injured spouse. Note that the decision was made that EIP dependent amounts will be split between the two spouses rather than paid out in full.
Q31. If I owe tax, or have a Payment agreement with the IRS, or owe other federal or state debts or past-due child support, will my Payment be reduced or offset? (updated May 8, 2020)
A31. No, with one exception. The Payment may have been offset only by past-due child support. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service will send you a notice if an offset occurs.
If you are married filing jointly and you filed an injured spouse claim with your 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return), half of the total Payment will be sent to each spouse and your spouse’s Payment will be offset only for past-due child support. There is no need to file another injured spouse claim for the Payment.
The IRS is aware that in some instances a portion of the payment sent to a spouse who filed an injured spouse claim with his or her 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if no 2019 tax return has been filed) has been offset by the non-injured spouse’s past-due child support. The IRS is working with the Bureau of Fiscal Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement, to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. If you filed an injured spouse claim with your return and are impacted by this issue, you do not need to take any action. The injured spouse will receive their unpaid half of the total payment when the issue is resolved. We (IRS) apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.