Tax guide

Is my stimulus payment protected if I filed an injured spouse claim?

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I filed an injured spouse claim on my taxes but our entire stimulus payment was garnished because my spouse owed back child support. I thought my portion of the stimulus was protected since I filed as injured spouse?

If you filed a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation in 2019 (or 2018, whichever was most recently filed), the IRS sent your portion of the CARES Act stimulus payment in late August, 2020. No action was needed to claim it.

If you didn’t file a Form 8379 and had your half of the stimulus payment garnished, you don’t have to file a Form 8379 or take any other action. The IRS should have automatically delivered your portion at a later date.

EIP2 was protected from garnishment, but the Recovery Rebate Credit is not (so any missing stimulus amounts claimed on your taxes could be garnished).

EIP3 is not protected from garnishment, but some states and financial institutions have chosen to act to protect these payments. Your EIP3 may or may not actually be garnished—it depends on your state and financial institutions involved.

You can check the status of your payment by using the IRS Get My Payment tool to track your EIP3, or request your account transcript to track EIP1 and EIP2.

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