Payments on Joint Return

Hi all -
I received an inquiry from a guy who (along with his wife) are behind in paying taxes, both with taxes owed. They want to file a joint
return and make a payment toward their arrearages, but want to allocate the payment (unequally) between the two.
Can that be done? Do they need to file separate returns?
Thanks.
Stu
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On 2/8/2019 19:53, Stuart O. Bronstein wrote:

I don't see why the payment of prior year tax liabilities would affect their filing status of subsequent year returns unless you are talking about designating a refund offset. If that's the issue, see IRM 21.4.6.4 (https://www.irs.gov/irm/part21/irm_21-004-006r ) for priorities for offset. Generally, application of refund offsets can't be designated, though there may be some injured spouse relief available.
Designation of voluntary payments should not be a problem unless they are contractually obligated (installment agreement, offer in compromise, etc.) to make payments in a certain manner. See Rev. Proc. 2002-26 in IRB 2002-15 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb02-15.pdf )
From a procedural standpoint based on many years' experience locating misapplied payments, separate checks and designations from each taxpayer is preferable to splitting payments from one check.
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email.me:

Thanks. I'll look into it.
The spouses each owe different amounts, and each wants to apply a payment to his/her own specific debt. And right, I don't know why they think this affects their current return.
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Stu
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