Requesting an Offset Bypass Refund and Tracing Offsets to Non-IRS Sources

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Under the right circumstances the IRS will apply administrative procedures to override the general rule required by IRS 6402 to offset the refund of a taxpayer to satisfy an outstanding liability.  This administrative process, known by the catchy name of offset bypass refund or OBR can provide significant assistance to a taxpayer struggling with a financial hardship.  Even though not required to do so by the code, the IRS will step back from taking the refund and allow it to go to the taxpayer despite outstanding tax liabilities.  While this is not the season for OBR activity at the IRS — the normal season is tax filing season, particularly the early part — this may provide the best time for a discussion of the topic since the season will be upon us shortly.  When requesting an OBR, it is critical to know whether the client has other debts subject to offset since the client generally does not achieve the goal of OBR if they do not receive the refund due to other offsetting debts.  This post will explain OBR: the procedures for making the request and the offset rules that can apply to thwart such a bypass.


When someone owes federal taxes, section 6402 authorizes the IRS to offset a refund due to that person to pay for the outstanding balance.  While governed by statute, the concept of an offset has ancient roots and provides a logical method for a creditor to recover a debt.  Every year the clinic is contacted by taxpayers complaining that they did not receive their tax refund.  When we obtain the transcript of their account, we can see that the IRS did allow the refund, but the refund was applied against an outstanding tax debt or, in some cases, against an outstanding debt owed to a third party authorized to receive a federal tax refund.  When the IRS makes an offset to pay an outstanding federal tax debt, it notifies the taxpayer it has done so.  This correspondence may not be sufficiently clear for some individuals or they may have changed their addresses and not received it.  If the IRS applies 6402 to use the refund to pay a debt other than a federal tax debt, the taxpayer usually does not get a notice until September of the year the return is filed and that notice does not come from the IRS but from the Bureau of Fiscal Service described below.

Sometimes a taxpayer with past due federal tax obligations faces a severe financial hardship at the time of filing a return claiming a refund.  The hardship may be a pending cut-off of electricity, eviction, foreclosure, need for heating oil, or other basic life needs. The taxpayer could use the tax refund to avert these crises, but the tax refund will not come to them because of the outstanding liability.  In these circumstances, the IRS can override, or “bypass,” the offset and send the taxpayer the refund.  In order to have the IRS override the refund, the taxpayer must contact the IRS and set up the bypass before filing the tax return.  Failure to receive approval for a “bypass” before the posting date of the original return forecloses the opportunity to bypass the offset.  See IRS Clarifies Procedures for Issuing Offset Bypass Refunds.  If the tax refund has already been applied to the prior tax obligation, the IRS will not reverse the offset unless there was a clerical error. See IRM (Note).

OBR is governed by IRM  In order to request an offset bypass refund, the taxpayer, or representative, should make the request when the return is filed.  The request must occur prior to assessment.  The request needs to demonstrate the financial hardship the taxpayer faces.  The amount of the offset limits the amount of the OBR.  For example, if the taxpayer would receive a $1,000 refund and the taxpayer demonstrates a $600 hardship in order to pay the rent and avoid eviction, the OBR will be $600 and not the entire amount of the refund available.  The balance of the refund will go to pay the past due tax liability under the normal offset rules.  Although the Taxpayer Advocate Service is usually associated with OBR the OBR need not go through TAS.  If the IRS fails to make the properly requested OBR before assessment, the IRS can reverse the offset and pay the taxpayer the amount it would have paid based on the taxpayer’s demonstrated hardship.

Going back to the clinic’s case that I mentioned at the outset, we found that the client had not filed tax returns for the past few years.  However, when a taxpayer requests the IRS to permit a collection process other than the one normally taken, the IRS generally requires that the taxpayer be compliant with their return filing obligations.  The only broad exception to this rule is the hardship exception to having the account placed in currently not collectible status discussed in Vinatieri v. Commissioner. However, since we intended to file an Offer in Compromise for this particular client, we needed to prepare the old returns.  These returns, if filed, would generate about a $1300 refund for the taxpayer.  This refund amount was enough to satisfy the client’s federal tax obligation and eliminate the need for an offer in compromise. However, the client’s financial situation was so dire that we decided the best option for him involved submitting the returns, requesting an OBR and then submitting an OIC afterwards. This way, the client would both get the refund and clear his federal tax debt.  However, in contacting TAS about using this procedure, we learned that the client had other outstanding debts subject to the Treasury Offset Procedure (TOP).  These other debts prevented the IRS from granting the OBR since the IRS also forbids “bypasses” if the taxpayer also has a TOP debt (i.e., federal agency nontax debt, state income tax obligations, unemployment compensation debt, or child support). See IRM and IRM

We then needed to learn the nature and amount of the debts subject to the TOP offset in order to determine how to move forward with his case. We hoped that we would be able to resolve these debts before trying again for a “bypass.”  The IRS transcript of account, which provides a picture of a taxpayer’s status for federal tax debts, does not show how much debt a taxpayer owes to the parties entitled to obtain an IRS refund through the procedures of 6402 nor does it identify those parties.  To find out this information, you need another type of power of attorney, one for the Bureau of the Fiscal Service an agency of the Treasury Department.  You can contact this Bureau via a toll free number 800-304-3107 but if you represent a taxpayer you need a signed Authorization for Release of Information from your client.  Once you have the release form for the Bureau, you can contact it and find out what other parties have “dibs” on your client’s refund.  However, the Bureau can only tell you identity of the other parties; it does not have any information regarding the amount owed or the reason for the debt.  Each individual party would then need to be contacted to find out the specifics for the debt owed.

Our research led us to the conclusion that three other agencies had placed a marker on our client’s refund.  One of the other parties was the state taxing authority.  We thought we might be able to work with that debt to reduce or eliminate it through a state procedure.  However, another one of the debts was child support and the amount of the debt was significant.  Although there may be a mechanism for addressing past due (or way past due) child support, a quick consultation with a supervising attorney at the Legal Services Center of the clinic handling those types of cases convinced us that accomplishing a reduction of that debt would be very difficult and would place us way outside the comfort zone of our practice area.  So, we concluded that a refund bypass would serve no purpose here.  Because the refunds generated by the returns we had prepared would eliminate his federal tax liabilities, we returned to the simple plan of filing the returns and knocking one creditor off of his list.

Section 6402 creates a hierarchy of payment of refunds similar to the hierarchy for payment of unsecured claims in section 507 of the bankruptcy code.  Refunds of federal taxes first go to satisfy federal tax debt.  Only when that debt no longer exist, does money go to other parties entitled to receive the federal tax refund before the taxpayer. The statutory scheme in section 6402 first pays the refunds to the agency seeking money for child support.  In that way, the Internal Revenue Code now also mirrors the bankruptcy code.  If you look at the priority payment hierarchy of bankruptcy code 507, you see that the number one priority-unsecured-claim is child support and alimony.  However, it was not always this way.  In 1978 when the current bankruptcy code was passed, no priority was given to child support and alimony.  “Deadbeat dads” filing bankruptcy generally discharged these unsecured claims with little or no payment.  In 1994, when the first major bankruptcy reform act occurred with respect to the new bankruptcy code, child support and alimony made it into the code section creating priority claims but only as the seventh priority.  In 2005, when the last major bankruptcy reform occurred, alimony and child support moved to the number one spot.  It is interesting to see how this particular type of debt moved up over the course of one generation from an afterthought to the top priority.  It is also interesting to note that it moved to the number one spot in section 6402.  This says a lot about our social priorities and how they have changed.

If a taxpayer due a refund does not have the refund taken by the IRS or by a child support agency, then it must next pass the gauntlet of other federal debts.  The statute does not list the federal debts able to be offset by the federal government but you can find it on Page 3 of this GAO Report.  The one I see the most often is student loan debt.  After federal debt, comes state debt.  The list of state obligations varies by state.  You can find a list here. Only after the IRS fails to find any debts from these lists does it send a taxpayer the requested refund.  Anyone actually receiving the full amount of their refund should feel some sense of financial well-being vis-a-vis a broad spectrum of the government because it means they have a clean bill of health for many agencies.

Many times OBR will not help taxpayers in financial hardship because of their non-tax debts.  This seems a little counterintuitive and counterproductive because the IRS is the senior creditor in this situation and it is generating the refund.  As the senior creditor, it should have the ability to decide if the person has sufficient need for the refund and to send the refund even if other creditors exist lower in the 6402 queue.  As a practical matter, convincing both the IRS and the other creditors, many of whom have a different process or no process for allowing the demonstration of hardship, is a task neither the taxpayer nor a representative can accomplish.  So, the person with a hardship ends up fully paying or reducing their debt to the one party that would have waived this payment while the other parties who force the failure of the refund bypass still receive little or nothing on their debt.  Perhaps the IRS should receive authority to speak for the queue.


  1. Claire Schapiro, E.A. says

    THANK YOU and much more. I work with delinquent clients who have these issues, this may be a HUGE help to them, you have done a GOOD DEED this season.

    • Hello.
      I have had my tax refund offset bease of student loans. Is there any way to reverse this? Text, call or email at 4177550788 or asap please.
      Sincerely, Diane Johnson

      • You must go to the Department of Education (DOE) and work with whatever process DOE has for debt resolution in order to obtain your money. The IRS granted your refund and Financial Management Services (FMS), which is an agency of the Treasury Department and a clearinghouse for making payments for the federal government, sent your money to DOE because DOE certified to FMS that you had a qualifying debt. You want to have DOE remove that certification and, of course, return the money to you that was sent as a result of your 2016 tax return. The IRS has nothing to do with the resolution of this matter. If you feel incapable of dealing with DOE yourself, you need to find someone who specializes in student loan debt to assist you. You do not have a tax problem. In granting the refund, the IRS accepted your return.

        • Keith can you please help me get mines reverse I’m going through major hardship

        • Angi walters says

          Can you please call me 509-904-3806

        • I have a question my refund was offset is there a way I can get that back through hardship???

        • Thanks so much for this information. I just had my entire return offset and when I called doe after being on hold for 2 hours they said my loan was sold to a collection agency. When I called said agency they said they don’t know what I’m talking about? Are they allowed to lie to me so I don’t start making payments to get out of default? Help, Sarah

          • Chris Ragland says

            they did me the same way. same situation.

          • Erin Reading says

            The non custodial tax refund was taken for child support and I still haven’t received anything six weeks later. How long does it take for child support to receives. They say they haven’t received anything

        • If i owe depart of social health and services can my offset refund be bypassed? If so how do I go about that?

        • Hello I have a student loan debt to a school I never even heard of so my taxes r on hold I’m homeless with my 2 girls and boyfriend and i was really relying on my tax refund for a apartment I got approved for but now my taxes is on offset and I’m freaking out about it we ended up homeless because I was having migraines everyday straight from when I woke up till I went to be it got so bad my vision started going blurry and I ended up losing my job since it was a new company that bought the company I was working for they let me go after I was unable get to work due to my migraines and Vision so I was going to see doctors to see what was wrong didn’t qualify for medical insurance cause my job at the time so I had to pay for doctor visit and MRI and medicine for migraine and fell behind on rent and when tried to get help government was shut down landlord didn’t want to wait to he evicted us and we live in Logan Utah no shelters my kids go to school here my boyfriend works and I am every day doing the foot work to find a home and trying to get my taxes we sneak every night in a self help storage unit and sneak out and bird bath every morning at laundry mat please help me

        • Shewolf Herrera says

          Thank you keith, i am very grateful that i found this website. I had a DOE garnishment, they began taking funds from my SSA check and now i am in hardship, but i am filing a hardship form. But i know many people who are in trouble, they can barely survive this is a big help.

      • Hi my name is Henry Garcia Had an offset from the attorney general on the state of Texas and I had my child support all paid up I should have been charged an offset from them they never closed my account they have closed that I talk to the Friends of the Court and there is no pending child support cases whatsoever on my behalf for a child support owed to the state or any individuals for child support I had $1,208 offset that still floating around in the department and I need that reverse if I could please refund my money back to me and deposit it into my account that would be really appreciated I could use my money it wasn’t there that they didn’t do their job on their end at the attorney general for the state of Texas and you can clarify that with the Friends of the Court here and with the attorney general please search this out as soon as possible so I can have my refund that was taken from me unlawfully thank you so much for your time Henry Garcia.

        • Steven Hamilton says

          Can some one please help me find out where my stimulus money is . I haven’t recieved it . And can’t reach any one for help please help

        • Henery, I truly understand what you are going through. Understand exactly how you feel.. So , I am really really hoping and praying to God. I just checked on the status of my Tax Refund & also my. Stimulus check. Just found out that it is fixing to be giving to Child Support of Mississippi. Both checks. 15000 dollars worth of back child support they are saying I owe the state. I have faxed them my court order papers several times as my proof . As I have always raised my son from day 1 to this past August he moved into to College.. this is a mistake and i can not get them to anything thing about fixing it..Never been in this situation before. Who and How do i contact someone to stop the process. It says child support should have received it by. June 22.. so I’ve still got a few days.. what do I do?? Does Anyone, Anyone at all know who can help us with this situation.. please help. Thank You God Bless

          • Kevin D Broach says

            The collecting agency are not allowed to lie,or talk to you rude or threaten you if ya dont pay you can find more information at the better business Bureau

    • Erica Brown says

      good Afternoon, My name is Erica Brown I am currently going through a hardship, do you still offer assisting?

      • My name is dolina Elizabeth ecklund piantek HD a stroke it’s been 3yr now and I won’t lie life has been hard on me all my belongings had been taken from strawberry even took all my clothing underwriters people are the worst of”the worst any way I don’t feel my ex is entitled to this money we both had a child he said he would take care hot letting them know what was going on.well he never did just recently the huge enter into a judgemental that I only have to pay him 32.00 instead of houndeed out of my benefit check that I get from government so I guess science we arguing to courhaving a disgust over back child support I only have back child support and I pay him every month so should he be aworded my stimulis chech

    • I need help with this reversal.I’m really having a hardship.

    • Lisa Taylor says

      I have federal non tax debt to fema for declared disaster hurricane Micheal and they have took past 2 refunds and 1 stimulus I contacted fema headquarters and told that I shouldn’t have been offset due to suspended at that time is it going to happen again or is offset suspended and how can I get any portion of funds to help me Im in a hard ship situation that will require relocation expenses I can’t obtain with out refund the man I leased purchased home from died due to covid if you can assist with any knowledge of what I can do it would be helpful

  2. Good insight on the hierarchy of debts. The challenge remains, for the practitioner, to be able to find out about all debts before the return in question is filed. Credit reports? Not enough to show child support or alimony debt.
    Keep pluggin’!

  3. This is very helpful. Can this be done after the tax return has been offset? Do all states offer this?

  4. Would this apply to clients that was in an approved OIC and the IRS kept their refund for the year following the approval of their OIC?

    • One of the “preprinted” provisions of the standard offer in compromise is that the IRS will keep the refund, if any, for the year in which the offer was approved. Because the refund comes months, or sometimes even a year, later the retention of this refund comes as an unpleasant surprise to many who have received relief through an offer. The existence of this provision requires discussion and planning with the client at the time of acceptance to insure that withholding in the year of offer acceptance carefully matches the anticipated liability. If the client can claim the EITC or other refundable credits, it is usually not possible to adjust withholding in order to prevent a refund yet the money provided by the EITC refund could be critical to the financial success of the individual. Although I have never done it, I am told that it is possible to negotiate concerning this provision when entering into the offer. So, if you anticipate a big refund in the year of offer acceptance and if the refund will be critical to the financial success of the individuals obtaining the offer try at that point to negotiate out of the offer contract the provision allowing the IRS to offset the refund for the year of the offer. If you cannot do that or if it was not done, you can request offset bypass at the time you file the return for the year of offer acceptance but you are asking for something different than offset bypass under the IRS’ ability to waive offset under 6502 you are asking to reform the contract. I have never done this and do not know the chances of success. I expect the IRS would treat it similar to a regular bypass request but am unsure. Consult the IRM. Your comment suggests that the IRS has already taken the refund which means that the request may be too late.

      • I have a question? I had an offset for state and federal. My state was sent to the IRS for an offset. The IRS approved my refund minus what I owed them. Then sent the balance owed to the State. So, I’m still waiting on my state refund because they received the balance owed from my federal taxes. How long do I have to wait to receive this refund???

        • Nichole

          I do not know how long it will take. Most states have a procedure for inquiring about the status of your refund. Contact your state tax department to find the office that can give you advice about the status of the refund.

      • Keith, ov been reading these articles and they are extremely helpful. Essentially, I never got the first and second stimulus check.
        So, for 2020 tax yr, I filed for the recovery rebate credit, and it went to my AAFES/Military Star credit card debt, a base exchange store credit card debt that has been accumulating since 2012 at 2012… I was td that this was supposed to be avoided, since TOPs was suspended by presidential EO since the covod outbreak. Is that not true? My debt has been given to a collections agency called Transworld systems. it is still accruing interest, at the rate of 16%
        Was told and thought that it would fall off after ten years. Unfortunately, I was misinformed or wrong.
        Can I get my 2020 return back thru the treasury, as these were the covod checks that were supposed to come to me? I got the $1400 one, no prob. Shouldn’t I get my recovery rebate credit as well?
        I won’t have any luck trying to get the money take back from Transworld, I would guess.
        And will asking that my money not be offset due to hardship by the IRS won’t do anything, will it? What can I do?

  5. Cheryl von Winckel says

    My refund is currently offset due to defaulted student loans. I was out of work fo r a few years, and have been at my current job for 4 years. 2017 is the first year that I have tried to file for a refund since I had been offset. I am now in a loan rehabilitation program to get out of default. I still have 2014, 15, and 16 not yet filed. I understand that there is a 3 year statute of limitations on collecting past refunds. I am wondering if, after rehabilitation of my loans, my refunds prior to rehab are sill subject to collection for offset? Or will I be able to collect my past refunds?

  6. Jeremiah Warren says

    I received an email from my HR about setting payment plan up with ECMC in order for my paycheck to be garnished. I did set the plan the Rehabilitation Program. “THEY” say that they have not turned it over to IRS for tax offset since I am now in the Rehabilitation Program in which I volunteered to do the automatic payment plan. The first payment is set to come out this week. I have called the Federal Treasury Offset number and the last time I checked there are no litigating offsets at that time on me. Can they still take my refund.

    • Just curious what ever happened to this because I am in the exact situation. Volunteered to get into Rehabilitation program, made payments, and DOE says they havent recieved any of my Tax Return yet, so does that mean it will be sent to me?
      Thanks for any reply!

  7. Erica Rogers says

    I just found out that i was in OFFSET status when i checked the status of my refund today.. I have no idea what that is an i have not received any letter stating anything about a tax refund offset.. but my status says its in offset but my refund should be in my bank 02/22/2018… so i am confused as to why its still saying im getting money and im confused as to why i never received a letter regarding the offset as the law requires? what can I do?

    • Kaitlin Barnes says

      I’m in the same boat. DDD of 2/22/18. You won’t receive the notice until after the money has been sent to whomever the debt is being paid tooo. Mine is the department of education for defaulted student loans. Once you receive the notice stating why it was offset you may be able to call and request a review. It’s a long process but worth it if the decision is reversed. Extenuating circumstances must apply such as financial hardship. Its basically a waiting game at this point. It can be offset for student loans, taxes owed, child support, or any other federal debt.

      • Makena Miranda says

        Makena Miranda
        Same thing happened to us it was approved 2/22 and be deposited to the account on 2/27 2018 my boyfriend did not for at least 8 years so now that he works I have him claim our son
        To get a better refund .He is making payment before for DOJ but because we have hardships
        that’s stop we lost our home pretty much we are close to homeless and renting a room in a relative house for $1200/ month with the 3 of us.$5950 that’s a good amount for us to get our own place or get a car for work but all that hope is gone .My son wanted to have his own room he is 14 years old and we are back in our feet,another’s bad part is let him claim our son so I have to pay taxes myself.It is really nice if someone can help us to recover that money and we are willing to pay the debt in installment like we used to do that they cannot
        Takes our refunds. The state is the same thing please help.

        • Hi my name is Ricky im struggling to get by because i owe back child saport. They garnish my wages alot. Take my taxes all of it i have babys at home i cant hardly get by and my kids are suffering. Now they are telling me they arw going to take my stimulus releaf cheaks what can i do. Please help before im homeless again.

      • Hi can u give info if I’m homeless is this hardship to get money back

    • Same here. Just found out my entire refund was taken. Not sure what to do as I cannot afford anything right now and was relying on this completely. I never received a letter either and didn’t even know about the loan being so defaulted until I checked my credit report. No clue what to do now….

      • Y’all I’m literally in the same page! I’m hoping there is a number where I can call for them to review because I never knew who my loans were through, or how much I owed. I just had a baby in September and I have been out of work since then! I was completely relying on this refund so i can put my almost 6 month old into daycare so I can go back to work to continue to pay towards them and support my daughter. This is the absolute worst feeling. And on top of that I can’t even get food stamps 😩

        • So i went through this exact situation. My taxes were offset last year because I defaulted on student loans. I had no idea I even had an offset and was not notified and unfortunately only found out when my tax refund was not deposited on my direct deposit date. The amount I owed on student loans was high enough that they would be taking my income tax return for multiple years to come. They took $3000 on a $11000 debt. So this year i still had the offset. So what i did was filed for federal loan consolidation with the income based repayment plan. Within 30 days the consolidation company had paid my entire loan debit. They had assessed me at $0 monthly payments during my application process( all income information was uploaded from my previous taxes and was done by letting them pull what info they needed directly from the irs) and let me choose which repayment option and monthly repayment amount i wanted before i agreed to anything. Best decision i have made. It was simple and the offset was removed within 10 days of the loans being consolidated. I am currently waiting on my refund and have no offset and don’t have to worry about needing my refund and having it taken. is the website. Under menu options go to repay loan and it will give you the option to consolidate. From the time I applied to consolidate to the time my loans were paid in full and my offset removed was 36 days. Hope it helps!!!

          • I got into a repayment program for student loans and I have met all requirements for the offset to be removed. The Doe says I am in good standings but the department of Treasury still says i have an offset. Exactly how long did it take for them (department of Treasury) to remove the offset and did you get your refund with no problem???

          • Info on this please

          • Jessica, Did you file your taxes before consolidated your loans? I have similar situation.. I filed February 5, 2019 and they took all my refunds and I was in a payment plan but they did took my money.. I filed to consolidate my loans but Not sure if able to still get my money back since they already took the refunds..?

          • Same here! I’m in a repayment program but they also are set to take my whole refund! They said I can file a financial hardship but I’m hoping theres a way to dispute this.

          • Did u consolidate your loans after the offest an still recieved your refund after the 36 days? If so I started the consolidation process so how long will it take for them to reverse my off set once the loans are paid in full?

          • So does this mean u got back ur refund that they offseted

          • I have an offset also on my return for student loan. Found out today when I checked my refund status. Anyways I read that you consolidated your student loans while they were in the process of an offset? Once you consolidated with the new company and they paid off the debt for your student loans the debt collection agent reversed your offset and you did receive you refund???

    • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      My refund was due to be deposited on 2/22/2018. Checked this past weekend 2/24/2018 and it was gone. 0.00 balance.. I called the treasury number and my money went to US dept. of Edu.. I have been making $5 auto payments since 8/03/2017. I called DOE and they reversed my offset. Said “our mistake” and Said I would have my whole refund, refunded. They told me to call back in 1-2 weeks. I wonder how the process goes?? Do they send my money back to the IRS to be reprocessed? Do they(DOE) deposit it into my bank? Do they(DOE) send a check? How long does it take?? Regardless, I’m glad I’m getting it back at some point. Single mom of 3 here!

      Ps. This may post twice. I don’t know what I’m doing here HA!

      • Hey so I have been making the 5$auto payments ad well for about 8 or 9 months and my whole refund was taken for student loans. Did you ever receive your refund back? I keep hearing that it’s almost impossible to get the offset reversed. But I was told by the agent at immediate recovery Solutions that my student loan wouldn’t be garnished or Taken via taxes or paycheck. And now it has.

      • I am in the same boat i finished the rehabilitation program but they just offset my taxes which number did

      • what number did you call? The same thimng just happened to me today. i have been in a repayment program since October. i made my 6th on time payment 2/5/18. prior to filing my taxes on 1/29/18 i called everyone to make sure i wasnt on the offset list, even the automated number and everywhere said i wasn’t on the list. i received a letter from PHEAA 2/14/18 stating that i was removed from the offset list, which wasnt news to me because i had already called everyone and their mother lol. but today when i woke up i checked and my whole refund was taken! i called PHEAA and the lady said they didn’t take it, i said yes you did…long story short she said they did and i wouldnt be refunded!!! i need that money. any help would be appreciated on who to contact because im at a loss.

      • Amy- I know this is a year later but did you ever receive your refund? And how did the process go? Currently going throug this now. The DOE took it by mistake, rejected the money when it came and and said they sent it back to the IRS.

    • In the same boat..The treasury will not send a notice until after they have sent the money to DOE. However, the only way the DOE will refunded all or some of the offset money is if you are facing foreclosure or imminent eviction.

      Call Who you owe to see the arrangements they have set forth…..good Luck

  8. I just lost $6723 over a payment plan of $25 a month that I forgot about but was never notified. I’m going to lose my house and I’m currently on food stamps and that is who took my money. Why not deduct from current beneifits. Is this legal?

    • Vanessa Small says

      Hey Trisha don’t know if you gotten that offset taken care of . Did I understand you correctly that Department of Children and Families garnished it? If so if you haven’t already done so you can request from IRS OBR Offset ByPass Refund noting a hardship . Call IRS and ask for a Taxpayer Advocate to assist you if need be. Also see if you can get the assistance of a tax clinic. If your income falls within the bracket of qualifying for their assistance they can help as well. I spoke with the DCF and they stated that it can be “reversed” but you have to speak with IRS as quickly as possible if you can set an appt with IRS that would be great because unfortunately over the help is crappy they are at home and don’t want to be disturbed which is sad for us because we need their genuine help. So I wish you the best with this and I hope this information helps. I will post an update with mines as well. Take care and stay positive no matter what,

  9. My student loans were in default and I realized I may have an offset so I reconsolidated my loans, but not quickly enough for the Dept. Of Ed to remove the offset. The Dept. Of Ed. said they will refund me the offset by check through the mail, they said it can take 11-21 days for them to get the funds and then another 45 days to process the check, then up to 14 more days for me to get the check. That’s almost 3 months. I’m wondering if anyone else has gone through this and if it really took that long to get the check?

    • So how did you get them to refund it back

    • So did you just call the Department of Education for this? They also just offset mine, I had no idea I was in default. I was in good standing with American Education Services, big mistake on my part, but no one even tried notifying me. Plus Im eligible for a forgiveness!!!!

      • will give you all the access to consolidate loans or whatever other options are available. I personally used the above site to consolidate mine and it took less than 40 days from start to loans being paid in full. Offset was removed and my payments are $0 a month based on my income

    • I’m in the same boat. I checked nslds before filing and was no longer in default. Who did you talk to to get it reversed? Please help!

    • Kelly Brickey says

      Same thing happened to me. I was paying through Navient i had no idea i owed another student loan company. I called around and found out before i got the notice so i spoke directly to the Dept of Education and she helped me consolidate and told me that the payment has not been applied to my account with them yet so she days for me to give it a few days and call them to see if they got everything they needed. She may be just yrying to get me ro consolidate but i was in tears on the phone with her when i found out i was getting nothing back, got a disabled daughter, and was foing to lose my home. She called back roday and explained i may still have time. For those of you that pray, i can use all i can get.

    • INESIA HARMON says


  10. Im a single mother currently livibg in a shelter since february of last year. I work 55hours a week and have a 2year old and 4year old. Two years ago i found out my ex got foid stamps and cash under me for my two kids. Once it came up i was working full-time apparently they held a hearing and i was founded at fault for fraud for almost $4500 between cash and snap. Now im ineligible for any snap benefits and ive been sending $20 a month for the snap yet unable to pay the cash at tge same time… long story they offset my whole federal refund of $5,830 -$272 . I need to know how and if i can appeal this

    • Avatar photo Guest Blogger says

      When an offset occurs of your federal tax refund because of a claim filed with the Treasury Department by another federal or state agency, the only way to resolve the issue is by working with the agency that sent the claim to the Treasury Department. The IRS will not assist you in these cases. From the perspective of the IRS, it has granted the refund and the offset took place further downstream and out of its hands. If the agency making the claim to Treasury made it incorrectly, it should return the money to you though that process of getting the agency to return the money may be quite slow as described by Julie.

    • Tamisha Fuller says

      omg I’m sick to my stomach thats the same thing happened to me lord jesus idk what to do

  11. Brittney Bradley says

    My taxes where taken as an offset to my student loan. I didn’t know I was in default. Is there a way or anything I can do to get it reversed because I’m close to losing my home and I was going to use my refund to pay my rent. As I stated I didn’t receive a notice or anything. I was getting my wages garnished at my old job. Switched job and asked for a form they never sent it. What is there I can do so I can get my tax refund. An I can still pay off the loan.

  12. I too just lost my entire tax refund due to an offset forstudent loans. Mine were for itt which was closed in 2016. I withdrew from that school in 2013. I was under the impression the student loans were closed due to this school defrauding the students. When i seen i might have an offset i seen that 2 of the 6 loans were not closed. I’m waiting on the letter from the depart of education so i can call them and see if i can have this reversed. I’m still confused as to why after 5 years they just now decided to do the offset. Single mom of 3, We kinda look forward to our taxes to help get caught up and maybe buy things we need that we can’t afford throughout the year. Hoping i can have this reversed. Anyone else have this issue with a school that has been closed and have any kind of good results that helps me with some kind of hope i can still have themrefund my taxes back?

  13. Phiphanethia Mitchel says

    My Federal refund was taken due to an offset which I knew nothing About. I thought I was done with the portion of the debt because they took my whole refund back in 2016.Now Im struggling trying to pay bills and only make 7.25 no car or nothing and barely have bus fair.I was really depending on that refund please help me. I just need to catch up on bills and my dependants needs and so forth.

  14. Erica Williams says

    I currently have outstanding student loans. I filed my taxes and they offset it. My husband & I are in an active bankruptcy. Luckily I filed taxes after we filed bankruptcy. They asked me when we filed Chapter 13 and that I needed to send over proof. I did so right away and it was approved! They just requested the refund thru the IRS and said I should be receiving a check in the mail within 8 wks.

    • How long did that take im in active bankruptcy now i filed 2/6 /2020 and i sent proof to ecmc and they coded my loans as active bankruptcy i filed my taxes 2/9/2020 but i called offset and they are still on there ecmc sent over reversal on 2/12/2020 i then notified irs so do u think my taxes will get offset? Even tho ecmc sent over reversal letter

  15. I had student loans in default due to my ex husband only paying his bills, not mine. Well I got that all cleared up and was told “your taxes will no longer be offset”…. guess what?? They were offset!! After calling around and receiving letters, I have been informed that I will be receiving the money, however, it will just “take time”. Does anyone know how long it takes to receive your tax return once this happens??

  16. I am in the same situation. I have been making $5 payments since oct. They have told me so many different things though. They sent my refund to DOE I called they said are you calling to be taken off the offset list not knowing I had to call first bc I wasnt told. Now im trying to figure out what to do because im so confused they said they’ll send me a hardship paper so i can pretty much appeal it. But thats after I had spoke to them 3xs ive called and spoke to them and have been told different things. Who knows how long that will take smh…im so confused

  17. I am on the same boat, was suppose to get back almost 5,000 and they took all of it. I called the DOE and all they said that this is their way of always getting there money back, there’s absolutely nothing I can do unless I’m in a hardship eviction notice blah blah blah. It definitely sucks because your counting on that money and poof in a blink of an eye it’s gone.

  18. I consolidated my student loans and I have an income based repayment plan with my new lender. My payments are $0 a month currently. I went to and looked at my repayment options. Didnt have to deal with the DOE OR IRS. Offset was removed and i am receiving my taxes. I am a single mom and work full time and need my tax money. Please go check it out! So so worth it

  19. For those who requested the Refund Offset review, how long did it take? I’m helping my brother deal with FMS and they keep saying 2 more weeks. His review went into effect on March 12, 2018.

  20. Need to know if there is a way to prevent an offset due to hardship. I had an overpayment of state unemployment benefits and they are turning my debt over to the Treasury offset program. HELP.

  21. My boyfriend has an offset for an overpayment of social security benefits. Is it too late for him to try and get a waiver or apply for an appeal or even get on a payment plan before they take his entire refund?

    • Did you get this resolved I’m in the same boat but been making payments to them so I’m confused why they have offset my taxes

      • Chqutia starr says

        I was wondering if you ever got a solution for your problem. I am in the same situation and it is horrible because I do see where they said I can get a offset for my taxes. And I really need the money so if you got any information could you please email me at thank you

    • This is crazy. Social security says they overpaid me. I sent in all my paper work they asked for, but they claim not to have it and suggested I go into an office. I went into an office, turned in paper work and filed a waiver. This was in May 2018. I never heard anything else from Social Security. I just happen to look over my credit report back in Jan 2019, and there was Social Security and that alleged over payment on my credit report as a collection. I immediately called Social Security. I got a really awesome rep on the phone and after she looked through my records, she noticed that my paper work had been sitting in their computer system since July 2018, and nobody had sent it through to be processed. She immediately said she was sending it to escalation and noting my account. She also stated to me that any and all collection attempts would cease immediately. I called Social Security again 3 days later to make sure all collection and would be ceased and this rep told me the same thing. Okay cool……let’s fast forward a little bit here. Tax time…taxes filed….called offset number….guess what’s being offset and why….yep my federal refund for Social Security….checked where’s my refund… a deposit for Feb 27, but I also have a tax topic 203 which is third party debt. I did some research on the Social Security website and I will be calling Social Security early Monday morning and letting them know that they cannot legally offset my taxes pursuant to Act 404.525 Suspension of Offset, which states that “If, within 60 days of the date of the notice described in 404.521, the overpaid individual notifies us that he or she is exercising a right or requests a waiver under 404.506, we will suspend any notice to The Department of Treasury until we have issued written findings that an overpayment is past due and legally enforceable and, if applicable, make a determination that a waiver request cannot be granted.”

  22. So I filed my taxes with my husband who doesn’t work and I filed an injured spouse form along with it. He currently has an offset for back child support and for baby- mama being on welfare. When filing injured spouse, it only goes with federal taxes that you filed and not your state unless you live in a community property state. I was owed $765 back for state and just found out it has been reduced to 382.50 because the state of nevada took the other 382.50. Now why should I have to contact the agency about the money they receive or going to receive when it’s my refund but my husbands debt which I am not responsible for. Like a state agency is going to listen and give me back the mo ey that I paid in and not my husband and which the money i rightfully deserve. I live in nebraska and we are not a community property state.

    • Patti Weichman says

      I’m going through the same BS! They accumulated their child support debts, NOT US! My husband owed back child support way before I came into the picture. He refuses to work, refuses to help pay bills or pay for anything!! I filed for divorce but I’m so done paying his way through life, make HIM responsible for his own debts!!!

  23. Hi i wondering what the process ive finished my rehabilitation process but yet my taxes were still offset..i need help with reversal

    • I’m looking to see what I can do as well. I just noticed that my refund was offset as well. I did start a rehabilitation program. Does anyone know if you can get it reversed???

  24. Hi has anyone actually received their refund back after it was offset? I just started the rehab loan process and given the first payment but I’m wonderibg if they will return it to me.

  25. ok so my tax refund was offsetted last yr when i called last yr they said they sent a notice saying i will be offsetted but i didnt get one last yr saying my 2018 tax return amount for this year will get offset and when i called the offset hot line it says that they have no record of my debt or offset. i consolidated my loans and am i filed my taxes friday will they still be takened?

  26. I have offset for social security. I am making monthly payments. I don’t understand why would they take my refund if making repayment on my debt ever month..

  27. I was suppose to be offset last year 2018 from DOE. Even got the letter from the Fiscal Service. I was expecting $8,066 and the offset was supposed to take $7,000 of it for DOE. And I was supposed to recieve the left over money via check by mail. Well when I received the “left overs” check, it was the WHOLE amount of $8,066!!!??!! I immediately went and cashed it. Now turn to this year 2019! The DOE is now offsetting me AGAIN for the same $7,000 balance owed! Cam they do this? Is there not a Double Jeopardy law or something? Like they had there LEGIT FU*KING chance last tax season and DIDNT DO IT! My refund last year was supposed to ve Direct Deposited into my Walmart Money Card, then I got the letter about the offset and they “messed up” and sent the original amount of $8,066! How can the IRS and DOE mess up like that?? And could they “mess up” again and send me my whole refund for 2019?? I think it was the Walmart Money Card, idk, Im just hoping they fuck up again and I still get my refund! Has this happened to anyone else??

  28. I am currently and have been making $5.00 a month payments consistently to a recovery company that currently has my student loans until they had them over to another lender …. But that doesn’t happen until a few more months down the road. Anyways I waited to file and got situated in this program last year, then once they gave me the okay ( 30-40 days after my 1st $5 payment to them!) I filed not this year’s, but the one before’s tax return e-file and everything went well!! I received my tax refund no prob and in full!!! Okay, so now I’ve been in this program since July last year, paying $5 every month. Haven’t missed a single payment ever. So I recently just filed my taxes e-file online, and it all looked good to go, then tonight I checked the where’s my refund app, and it said tax topic 203 – refund offsets!!!!???? Okay…. So then I call the Treasury Office Program Call Center just a minute ago, enter in my SSN, and it says I have “1 Offset” ….. They took my tax refund, the ENTIRE AMOUNT, then it said it was the – “US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION” and then it gave me their number to contact them if I needed. Well it’s Saturday night, LATE!!!!! BUT F YA I AM GOING TO BE CALLING THEM!!!!!!! I’m sorry to rant about my current situation and FRUSTRATION, but damnit! I mean why in the hell would they offset my entire tax refund while I’m Currently still paying the $5.00 each and every month !!!???????? IM GOOD !!!!??! UGHHHHHHH! Sucks I tell ya …. I’m curious if anyone at all out there knows exactly what I am going through and has ANY ADVICE AT ALL FOR ME OR DIRECTION TO SEND ME IN TO I SUPPOSE “DISPUTE” THIS MISTAKE!?!??? …… And I PRAY TO GOD ….. That I can actually even dispute this BS and figure out how to get my tax refund to me like it should’ve been in the FIRST PLACE! I wouldn’t see why they would offset it because of something I have already dealt with and made payment arrangements on….!!????? I’m in good standings with them. Was this a mistake on their part?? And do they possibly forget or miss taking off the offset attached to someone’s SSN?? ….. If anyone reads this comment I am writing now and going to post here tonight, and has any useful information for me and can help me I’d surely appreciate any help you can provide for me. Thank you for your time.

    • This is currently my entire situation that I’m dealing with!
      In the $5 dollar a month program and took my ENTIRE refund.
      I checked the Where Is My Refund website early saturday morning and saw the offset message, it ruined my entire weekend. I was in the bed all saturday depressed!
      Best believe, Im going to be calling Monday morning! They will probably be bombarded with phone calls because Ive seen a lot of people in the same boat. Why take our money when were in the program? I dont understand! This is so messed up! The average American is one pay check away from being homeless. Why take our refunds when we depend so much on those to get us caught up? Im so upset.

    • i am going thru the exact same thing!! I’ve tried calling all day today, excessive wait time only to have the phone hang up on you! Have you had any luck getting thru? What collector are you with? I’m with Alltran Eduation . SO frustrating and upsetting, I am an new mom, just had my daughter in September and was depending on this money to keep me from sinking even more in debt. Any advice anyone!?

      • Have you been able to get ahold of anyone? I am also with alltran and they tell me they are to busy to take my call. Did you get a form for hardship reversal? Who did you contact?

      • Omg the same exact thing happened to me through ALLTRAN. My whole refund of $6400 was taken even though i’ve been paying $100/ month for the last year. Im a single mom and have been relying on my taxes to get caught up and this year I was totally screwed over by Alltran. There’s absolutely no way to get your money back, i’ve tried everything.

  29. Yes I’m in the same situation but both my schools closed down so I thought I was fine they closed down for fraudulent activity . I completed A borrowers defense forms for the schools on the 19 and waiting on the default unit to review I been calling since Feb 9th to try to follow up on what should I do and they was giving me the run around seem like it’s a lot of step to review a form but they didn’t take long to just take my money without sending any notice I pray to god it’s a way I can still get my money .

  30. Samora Henderson says

    Keith what happens when you rectify the situation with fed student do you have to contact another agency to tell them in order to get your money that was offset.

    • Samora

      I do not know what the Department of Education or other agencies consider as rectifying a debt situation. Certainly, full payment of the liability would qualify but imagine other resolutions might qualify but I do not know. Once the situation in rectified, whatever the agency considers that to be, the agency to which you owed a debt should update your account with Financial Management Services, an agency of the Treasury Department that is the clearinghouse for all federal payments. If, for example, the Department of Education told Financial Management Services that your debt was no longer one which it sought to collect through the offset program then your tax refund and any other federally generated payment would come to you without having the offset apply. You should not need to contact another agency. It should be done by the agency that first told Financial Management Services to put a hold on your account.

      • Hello…my refund was offset on March 6 2019 of 8713. My consolidation went thru and they paid DOE. 10,000 to pay off my entire loan. Can I get my money back from DOE since the loan has been paid off. They can’t keep both payments

  31. Hello i havnt yet filed this year because my taxes was taken last year as of late September I joined default Rehabilitation but I dnt think I’m quite in the clear just yet, I’m asking is there any other option that I could do before I file so my offset can really be skipped I cnt take another hit like that this year… is there any forms I could submit to the IRS or Student debt bureau to help my offset be skipped before I even go thru the process

  32. I am in the same boat I just need my money back I just need to know what I need to do I’m having a hardship with two disable kids

  33. I had my entire tax refund offset. I just entered rehab program in January and made two payments since, and was told I made the deadline and that my taxes would not be garnished. So it was taken, I was relying on that money since I am a single mother with 3 kids one a newborn. I was out out for Work unpaid maternity leave for two months of 2018 and I was looking forward to this money for a lot of things the kids need as well as catching up on late bills. What is the best way to try and get my money back?

    I was going to let the kids dad claim the kids so he could get the money but since they (credit company handling student loans) said I was okay then I went ahead and filed my taxes. Is there a way to amend my return not to include the children so he can go ahead and claim them now, and then he would receive the money for claiming the dependents? And how would that get corrected with the IRS since the money has already been garnished?

  34. Hello, I was supposed to get my refund between Feb 27,2019 and March 4,2019. When I checked online it said it was sent to my bank on the 27. Now I check and it says my refund has been sent somewhere to satisfy a debt. When I call offset line it says DOJ is what took my money. I am lost. I have no clue of having a debt and now I’m looking at loosing everything and I have two kids. I was really depending on that for necessities not wants. I actually have important things going on, real life situations. Is there anyway of getting my refund reversed to me? PLEASE HELP

    • The only way is filing financial hardship and the only that will work is if you are facing eviction right now. The only other thing that may help is filing for bankruptcy and being that its already been taken not sure if it will work.

  35. I’m so hurt at this point I’m a single mother living from pillow to post.
    Filed my taxes Feb 7th 2019 due to receive them March 6 2019 but they are being offset to DOE.
    I have started a program around July Or August of 2018 because they took my taxes last year. Had my checks garnish for a good amount of time then got on the 5 dollar payment plan to be told I’m in the clear to fill my taxes this year. Was so glad because I needed this money to get me a apartment ASAP for me and my daughter. To be told and seen that my taxes was been offset again why after they told me that I was in the clear why why do that to a mother in need. Someone please please help me or guide me in the right direction. I need help sad hurt no help.

  36. Michael greene says

    My situation is slightly different. They paid the dept of education(DoE) my refund of 9k. But i need to amend my return to 1k. Am i now on the hook to the irs for the difference of 8k or do they get the money back that they sent off?

  37. Jamie Fields says

    I need to know how to dispute the offset on me over a student loan. I have been working with the Alltran people and my refund was still taken. My husband left me and now I am a single mother of 4 kids and I was counting on that money to pay bills. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  38. Michaela says

    My refund was reduced and I never received a letter stating why. I have tried calling the offset program number and am on hold for hours and never get an answer. I have tried calling on different days at different times and still have no luck. How else can I find out why they took money or if I owed someone because I had no idea.

  39. Your payment actually made it to the dept of education? Mine was set to be sent on the 27th of February but im in bankruptcy. Doe put a stop on the seizure on march 1. They told me i need to call the treasury and see where my money is. The money goes back to the treasury not the irs. Did u call them?

  40. My taxes were offset but I was already in a rehabilitation program paying it off. I’m not working and going through a hardship. How do I get my money back I also never received a letter from the irs stating they were going to offset my taxes. Actually when I filled my taxes we called the offset line to see if I have any offsets and it satiated that I didn’t have any. I’ve tried calling everywhere and they just keep putting me in an endless circle. I just want my money back.

  41. My taxes were taken because of a student loan. The crazy thing is, I contacted the financial institute (Great Lakes) years ago (2013) to update my address upon moving, not once, but twice and I just found out that they only changed the address for 2 of my parent plus loans that I have in deferment and not the 3rd one which is why my taxes were offset. is there anything I can do since they were negligent in updating my address for one of my parent plus loans?

  42. robert f Morris says

    I have been placed in (TOP) tax offset program for unpaid child-support. Reading the guidelines of TOP. you cannot be placed in the program for unpaid spousal support-ONLY child support. All child have been emancipate as of 2016, the amount of spousal support in the arrears is 50,000 which only 1,000 is child support. I want to paid the total child support, but the state will only credit a small percentage every week, as this keeps me in the offset program. What type of motion should be filed, or petition or certification to bring this issue to light? thanks for any guidence

  43. Dishon Spears says

    I am waiting for a federal tax return, and I see that I had an offset for a $230 overpayment from social security. I paid $100 to Social Security but part of my tax return was sent over to social security and I’m wondering when I will receive the rest of it. Who can I contact to get that money reversed? Should I contact Social Security? Can anyone help with this question? Social security has nothing to do with taxes and I am wondering why they would have to take money that we are owed.

  44. Cara Toms says

    Hi I have a question about offset due to default on a student loan. I have recently had all of my loans that were with FSLP consolidated. The consolidation occurred on April 12th. I was first told a letter was sent to Dept. of Revenue to take offset off on April 14th and that it would take 3 weeks to come off. Being that it’s been more than 3 weeks and offset is still there I called loan services again yesterday. They informed me that letter to take offset was actually sent on April 20th and that the offset should come off yesterday or today. Well it’s still there. Help! Any information greatly appreciated! Is there anyone besides loan services I can call to get this taken off? I’ve called the 18003043107 number many times but it is all automated never actually a person.

  45. Kayla Defoy says

    I have a copy of my 2018 tax transcripts. However, I’m trying to view any updates that may e on it now. Can you please direct me on how to view an updated copy of my transcripts/

  46. Krystal Armstrong says

    I set up my payment plan with Doe and was told on March 22 that I was in the good and was ok to file my taxes. I was set to receive my refund on May 30th and the doe offset it. In the mean time i was on hard times borrow money from ppl on good grace that i was to return it when I got my refund. I never received any information saying that I would not receive my return until June 5th 2019. No letter phone call email nothing. I even asked more then once in the conversation on March 22 with Doe if they were sure and I was told yes I could file. Now I owe ppl that’s been helping me get by in the mean time and now I’m a liar, this is defamation of my character. I would have never borrow anything if I had know ahead of time that it would not be coming and that I was mis informed. QA didn’t catch it a supervisor no one. I’m just being told oops that’s not right that doesn’t fix that now I owe ppl from borrowing to help with bills rent lights and the fact that I was told by a representative of Doe that I was ok and I could file. I need help on this issue

  47. Carla Diffee says

    I owe federal student loans and the IRS has been offsetting my refunds my student loan servicer hasnt shown anything paid on them since 1999. In 2016 they took $5,000 of my refund and sent it to Navient. I called Navient they told me that I have never had a loan with them which I already knew and to contact the IRS they gave me the run around when I called the IRS. I’m at a lost of what to do to straighten this out because I want to know we’re all my money has went that they have taken every year.

  48. My tax refund was taken last year 2019 because I defaulted on my student loans and so since then I have entered into an income driven repayment plan and have been making payments each month. Prior to filing my taxes this year 2020 I called the treasury offset number and there were no offsets so I went ahead and filed my taxes. I was curious and so I called the treasury offset number and now it states that my taxes are going to be offset by DOE. Could this be a mistake? Has anyone experienced this before?

  49. Hi – I didn’t file my taxes and ended up having my wages garnished based on a Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue estimate. Totally my fault! But the silver lining was when the agent told me that once I filed I would receive the wage garnishment back and it wouldn’t be passed on to the IRS (like my refund would be) to pay back taxes to the feds.

    About 4 week ago I filed and was looking forward to receiving the $2,100+ back that was garnished. But I just received the letter in the mail and instead of a check it contained a notice of offset that showed both my refund (as expected) and my wage garnishment being passed on to the IRS. My wage garnishment is itemized as “Payments / credits”.

    At the bottom of one of the pages are a few bullet points outlining how to appeal along with a link to appeal online. I went to the link and after putting in the ID numbers the web page informed that I couldn’t appeal this online. The other appeal option is to write them a letter and explain to them what I find incorrect. I plan to write that letter tomorrow and say basically what I’ve stated here which is what I was told by them in the first place. I’m frustrated and really disappointed because I can’t see my letter convincing them to collect the $2100 from the IRS and cut me a check. I mean I was polite on the phone and swiftly dismissed as this isn’t something they’ll discuss that way.

    So my question is was the agent correct in telling me that wage attachment over-payments are returned to the taxpayer? If so are there any words that would trigger a clear understanding of what I’m requesting to the agent who reads my letter? The words I use have one shot and hopefully the agent is willing to consider them because they won’t even know they’ve been dismissed.

    Thank you.


  50. I filed my taxes was waiting for my refund I just received a letter in the mail saying they were holding my $8300 refund for student loans…I had no idea I was in deferment I have been in contact with DOE explaining to them why I haven’t made a payment…I’m a single mother of 2 can hardly pay my rent, lost my job, got into a sever car accident which has left me with no car and medical issues that I have to now deal with. I receive food stamps, heating assistance, childcare assistance no child support what can I do to get my tax refund back?!?! I was waiting for that to pay my existing bills and catch up now i don’t know what to do help!!!! How can I get my refund back!?!

  51. I know this blog is old but is there anyway to bypass child support. Even if just a portion due to hardship?
    I just went to court in February and the magistrate did sign off to revoke temporary custody and restore full custody; however it is now the end of March and the judge has still not signed off on it. According to child support even if judge signs off it is not sufficient to end child support. I have to get the paperwork with judge signature and request child support to stop child support payments. Anyways they have been offsetting my refund since 2015 for child support and I have been paying regular with them garnishing half of my check. It’s just too much I pay $480 a month and my fiance pays $450 a month for the same two kids and we have a 9 month old. We barely make it through and only because we live with other people. We have been having major financial difficulties and since we do get the boys all the time (even though according to child support we never get them) and they are coming to live with us I was wondering if there was anyway to get at least a portion of the tax refund to help us.

  52. Norwood Johnson says

    I filled my taxes in January of 2020 to find i wa being ofset for student loans i spoke with TAS. at irs in February. For one im homeless living in hotel with f
    My wife and 4 kids 2 with disabilities. Never recovered any mail stateding they need to contact me or anything from the irs period.. So the TAS overturned the offset said i would receive all my taxes well were at the end of may . May 26 to be exact and no taxes no letters from the irs just nothing.. What do i do someone HELP me please

  53. V. Callozo says

    The IRS seized my tax refunds for almost a decade. I was sometimes due thousands of dollars, gone, they took it. Then, in 2012 and 2013 my refunds weren’t offset any more and when I called the hotline, they said all was clear. Then all of a sudden when I got a job two years later, they started garnishing my paycheck, so I set up a payment plan and owe the whole thing! How can I prove that I already paid? When I called/emailed and tried to get proof of my payments thru offset, no one would help me. I think I’m paying twice and the IRS hasn’t proved that I haven’t already paid. How can I get my untouched records as proof of payment?

    • V. Callozo says

      Oh, I didn’t make it clear that the above is for a student loan that was only $3000 at first. Now it’s at $9000!

  54. Danny Kennedy says

    If the IRS has placed me in uncollectible status, do I still need to go through and get a bypass offset on my refund ? I only have federal debt and it is from 2004. Thank You for this blog.

    • Danny – If you want your refund for 2020, you will need to seek a bypass of the offset procedure. Being in uncollectible status does not protect your refund from offset. Keith

  55. Cindy Macdonald says

    Look at all these Americans who desperately need help with no where to turn. I know this is not a tax help blog but it is interesting to note “no one, and I mean NO ONE, is getting help from the IRS. The COVID-19 may have been the last straw to this very broken Agency. Ask Nina, she knows . . .

  56. Vanessa Small says

    Hey guys I know we are all going through a tough and time and not receiving the stimulus sucks but try to look at it this way that’s a debt that’s cleared and you don’t have to be concerned about that again. Just remain positive and keep pushing to recover and stay focused. We could absolutely use the money but we unfortunately have to pay the piper. Yeah I know. But you will be ok. You’ve made it this far on whatever God has provided. Stay grateful no matter what. And thank him for needs being met we can do without the wants. It’s the wants that gets us all discouraged. So let’s keep prioritizing and being good stewards of what he has blessed us with. You guys take care. And keep pushing!

  57. Christina Patina says

    My 2nd stimulus was kept along with my tax refund because of past due child support..
    It was supposed to be given to me..the first one was kept and they had that right ..
    But when we all were issued the 2nd stimulus the rules where different i got the 3rd one..
    But since i had to claim the 1st and 2nd stimulus
    It was kept..will they see their mistake
    And if not can i claim it again next year on my taxes?

  58. Kiara Lambert says

    My refund was deducted due to me not checking the box on my tax form stating that I have received an second stimulus check. Please help the congressman noted that this can not happen but it did.

  59. Tanya L Brinson says

    Hello, I owe the IRS due to cashing out my 401K which by the time tax filing season came I forgot to include. I have a tax bill on which I made a payment arrangement and have made my first 2 payments. I was told that my taxes in 2022 would be applied to this balance. I have a financial hardship and need my refund. Is it possible to make other arrangements than having my refund applied to this bill? Please advise.
    Thank You In Advance,

  60. I was placed in non-collectible and Hardship status w/IRS on 6/28/2021, at that time I was told any state levy would be released, along with any garnishments if any. On or around 10/15/2021 my state refund was intercepted by the IRS. I’ve talked to the IRS the agent(s) have said “I see where the levy should have been releases 6/29, giving you your refund, but the non-collect wasn’t closed out properly and we intercepted it.” I’m not sure what to do at this point.

  61. Jeremiah says

    i owed $681 in back child support that I knew would be offset. but I was charged twice for it. The IRS sent $681 to child support out of my Federal return, and the state of Georgia also sent $681 to child support. Ive talked to child support and they say they only have the money from my Federal return and if more shows up they would let me know and maybe send a check. how long does this take? and can I contact anyone else about this? Thanks…

  62. Michelle Ruben says

    I am expecting a refund of $3316 which has been delayed. I had done an offer in compromise for $1400 which was accepted but then I never got any information on how to submit that. Are they going to be able to take that amount and just send me the difference? I’m having trouble getting an answer from anyone.

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