The Department of Treasury’s Bureau of the
Fiscal Service issues IRS tax refunds and, Congress authorizes Bureau of the Fiscal Service
to conduct the Treasury Offset Program. Through the Treasury Offset program, Bureau
of the Fiscal Service may reduce your refund and, offset it to pay, the past-due child
support, federal agency non-tax debts, state income tax obligations or, certain unemployment
compensation debts owed to a state. Generally, these are debts for compensation
paid due to fraud, or contributions owing to a state fund that weren’t paid.
You can contact the agency with which you have a debt to determine, if your debt was
submitted for a tax refund offset. You may call Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s
Treasury Offset Program call center for an agency address and phone number.
If your debt meets submission criteria for offset, Bureau of the Fiscal Service will
reduce your refund as needed, to pay off the debt you owe to the agency.
Any portion of your remaining refund after offset is issued, in a check or direct deposited
as originally requested on the return. Bureau of the Fiscal Service will send you
a notice if an offset occurs. The notice will reflect the original refund
amount, your offset amount, the agency receiving the payment, and the address and telephone
number of the agency. Bureau of the Fiscal Service will notify the
IRS of the amount taken from your refund once your refund date has passed.
You should contact the agency shown on the notice if you believe you don’t owe the debt
or, if you are disputing the amount taken from your refund.
If you don’t receive a notice contact the Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s Treasury
Offset Program call center at 800-304-3107, Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
central standard time. Contact the IRS only if, your original refund
amount shown on the Bureau of Fiscal Service offset notice differs, from the refund amount
shown on your tax return. If you filed a joint return and, you are not
responsible for your spouse’s debt, you’re entitled to request your portion of the refund
back from the IRS. You may file a claim for this amount by filing
Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. You may file Form 8379 with your original
joint tax return which may be Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ, with your amended joint
tax return which is Form 1040X, or, by itself after you receive notification of an offset.
When filing a Form 8379 with your joint return by mail or with an amended return, write “Injured
Spouse” in the top left corner of the first page of the joint return.
The IRS can process your Form 8379 before an offset occurs.
If you file Form 8379 with your original return, it may take 11 weeks to process an electronically-filed
return or, 14 weeks if you filed a paper return. If you file the Form 8379 by itself after
a joint return has been processed, then processing will take about 8 weeks.
To avoid delays, be sure to follow the Form 8379 Instructions.
When filing Form 8379 by itself, you must show both spouses’ social security numbers
in the same order as they appeared on your joint income tax return.
You and the injured spouse, must sign the form.
Follow the instructions on Form 8379 carefully and, be sure to attach the required Forms
W-2 and W-2G for both spouses and, any Forms 1099 showing federal income tax withholding
to avoid delays. Don’t attach the previously filed joint tax
return. Send Form 8379 to the Service Center where
you filed your original return and, allow at least 8 weeks for the IRS to process your
request. The IRS will compute the injured spouse’s
share of the joint refund. If you lived in a community property state
during the tax year, the IRS will divide the joint refund based upon state community property
law. Not all debts are subject to a tax refund
offset. To determine whether an offset will occur
on a debt owed other than federal tax, contact Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s Treasury
Offset Program call center at 800-304-3107.