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Injured or innocent spouse tax relief


You may be an injured spouse if you file a joint tax return and all or part of your portion of a refund was, or is expected to be, applied to your spouse’s legally enforceable past due financial obligations.

Here are seven facts about claiming injured spouse relief:

1. To be considered an injured spouse; you must have paid federal income tax or claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit on the joint return, and not be legally obligated to pay the past-due debt.

2. Special rules apply in community property states. For more information about the factors used to determine whether you are subject to community property laws, see IRS Publication 555, Community Property.

3. If you filed a joint return and you’re not responsible for the debt, but you are entitled to a portion of the refund, you may request your portion of the refund by filing Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation.

4. You may file form 8379 along with your original tax return or your may file it by itself after you receive an IRS notice about the offset.

5. You can file Form 8379 electronically. If you file a paper tax return you can include Form 8379 with your return, write “INJURED SPOUSE” at the top left of the Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. IRS will process your allocation request before an offset occurs.

6. If you are filing Form 8379 by itself, it must show both spouses’ Social Security numbers in the same order as they appeared on your income tax return. You, the “injured” spouse, must sign the form.

7. Do not use Form 8379 if you are claiming innocent spouse relief. Instead, file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. This relief from a joint liability applies only in certain limited circumstances. However, in 2011 the IRS eliminated the two-year time limit that applies to certain relief requests. IRS Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains who may qualify, and how to request this relief.

For complete information on Injured and Innocent Spouse Tax Relief, visit IRS.gov.

 

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Practical tips for migraine relief


(ARA) – Anyone who has ever experienced a migraine knows how debilitating it can be. When you’re suffering from a migraine, it’s likely that you have a hard time focusing on anything else besides the pain you’re enduring.
If migraines are interfering with your daily life, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor who can suggest the best ways to combat your headaches. But there are also some practical steps you can take to avoid migraines. Here are a few ways you can minimize the onset of migraines and ease your pain and nausea during a migraine episode:
* Get good and regular sleep. Migraines often follow sleepless nights. Do what you can to establish a consistent sleep schedule. If you’re having trouble sleeping, remove distractions such as a TV or radio, which can prevent you from entering a deep sleep when left on all night.
* Try acupressure therapy. Similar to acupuncture, but without the needles, acupressure can provide natural pain relief by applying pressure to certain points in your body. This can be done with your hands, or through a device you can wear, such as Sea-Bands, which can be worn to apply pressure to a point just below your wrist. A recent study conducted by Berolina Clinic in Germany concluded that 83 percent of its participants – all chronic migraine sufferers – experienced a reduction in nausea when wearing Sea-Bands.
* Establishing consistency in your diet can also help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, according to the medical experts. Also, if you suspect a certain food is causing your migraines, try eliminating it from your diet and see if it helps. Eating at different times each day or skipping meals can also trigger migraines.
* Try relaxation techniques. Stress is a major cause of migraines, so anything you can do to eliminate stress from your life will help. In addition, you may want to try deep-breathing exercises and muscle-relaxing routines designed to help your body deal better with stress and tension. If you are looking for a place to get started, ask your doctor which types of exercises he or she recommends.
* Get regular exercise. Perhaps nothing reduces stress and promotes good sleeping habits more than getting a good workout on a regular basis. Being physically active for at least a half hour a day can go a long way toward reducing your headaches.
* If you do experience a migraine attack, try to get to a dark, calm place. Lie down and sleep if your pain and schedule allows you to. Applying hot or cold packs to the affected area or the back of your neck may also help relieve your pain.
The pain caused by migraines can be extremely unpleasant and affect your ability to participate in normal daily activities. By doing what you can to avoid migraine attacks, you’ll help ensure that the disruption they cause is kept to a minimum. For more information on migraine relief, visit www.sea-band.com/blog.

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