An offset occurs when the Treasury Department intercepts your tax refund and applies all or part of it toward a delinquent debt. The debts that qualify for the offset program include federal taxes, state taxes, child support and state unemployment compensation debts, which are unemployment insurance payments unjustly received. For example, if you owe student loans or the Internal Revenue Service, your tax refund may be offset.
Checking for Offsets
According to the Department of Treasury, the agency you owe is required to send you a notice regarding the debt prior to offset. The agency must provide you an opportunity to resolve or dispute the debt. You can check for offsets by calling the Treasury Offset call center at 800-304-3107 and entering your Social Security number. The Internal Revenue Service can answer questions you have regarding debts. You can visit a local IRS office or speak to a representative by calling 800-829-1040. If you want to prevent an offset, you will need to contact the agency you owe to make payment arrangements.