How to Find Out If the IRS Will Take My Income Tax Check

The IRS will intercept a taxpayer's refund if they owe a federal or state debt. This includes child support, student loan, or any other state taxes or federal debt owed. When the IRS takes a taxpayer's refund, it is often called an "offset." In most cases, the taxpayer is informed via mail that the refund is subject to be offset, but by then, it is often too late to stop the offset. Although retrieving the refund once it's been applied to a debt is difficult, determining whether the IRS will take your income tax check is relatively simple.


Step 1

Call the Internal Revenue Service's customer service department from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 1-800-829-1040. If your refund is set to be applied to a federal or state debt, there will be a federal debt indicator on your account. However, keep in mind that the IRS representative will only be able to provide you with an answer as to whether part or all of your refund will be applied to your debt. The representative will not be able to tell you who the debt is with or how much of your refund will be applied to the debt.


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Step 2

Contact the agency to which you owe the debt and inquire as to whether they have submitted a request to the IRS for your refund to be intercepted. If the answer is yes, the money you owe will be deducted from your refund and the remaining balance will be mailed to you in a check or direct deposited into your bank account, depending on the method you selected when you filed your return. If there is no remaining balance, or if you still owe an additional amount, the IRS will continue to intercept your refunds until the debt is paid in full.


Step 3

Call Financial Management Service Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-800-304-3107 or TDD 1-866-297-0517 if you did not receive a notice but suspect that your refund may be subject to an offset. FMS is the agency responsible for routing your refund check to the organization to which you owe money after the refund is issued. If you did receive a notice, the notice sent to you should provide you with the original refund amount, your offset amount, name, address and phone number of the agency receiving the payment.