Injured spouse: The federal “injured spouse” form is not recognized by the State of Iowa when using filing status 2 (married filing jointly) or status 3 (married filing separately on a combined return). If your spouse’s refund will be used to pay a federal, state, county, or city debt, we suggest each spouse file an IA 1040, filing status 4 (married filing separately) to prevent your refund from being applied to your spouse’s debt.
See Refunds May Be Used to Pay Debt.
Relief from Joint and Several Liability
Married taxpayers are generally jointly and severally liable for the total tax, penalty, and interest from a joint return or from a return where the spouses file separately on the combined return form. However, a person who meets the criteria for relief from joint and several liability established in Section 6015 of the Internal Revenue Code may be relieved of liability for an understatement of tax that is attributable to erroneous items of the other spouse.
A married taxpayer filing a return with a spouse can qualify for relief from joint and several liability only if the taxpayers file a joint return or file separately on a combined return. A married taxpayer who files a separate return that has been accepted by the state will not be eligible for relief from joint and several liability.
Time Period for Requesting Relief from Joint and Several Liability
Relief from joint and several liability must be requested within two years of the date Notice of Assessment. However, an extended time period to request equitable relief is available for taxpayers who satisfy the criteria under Section 6015(f) of the Internal Revenue Code and, if applicable, Internal Revenue Service Notice 2011-70.
For additional information related to relief from joint and several liability, see Iowa Administrative Code rule 701–300.15.