When a joint return is filed and only one spouse owes a past-due amount, the other spouse can be considered an injured spouse. An injured spouse may file Form 8379 to receive his or her share of the refund shown on the joint return. The injured spouse:
Both of these conditions must apply unless the injured spouse lived in a community property state at any time during the tax year. In community property states, the injured spouse only must meet the first condition. If the taxpayer meets these requirements, Form 8379 can be e-filed with the joint return.
Look in the Publication 17 index for Injured Spouse; the Form 8379 instructions are also informative.