|Tax Topic #203
||2008 Tax Year
Topic 203 - Failure to Pay Child Support, Federal Non–Tax
and State Income Tax Obligations
The Department of Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS), which
issues IRS tax refunds, has been authorized by Congress to conduct the Treasury
Offset Program. Through this program, your refund or overpayment may be reduced
by FMS and offset to pay any past–due child support, Federal agency
non–tax debts, or state income tax obligations.
You can contact the agency with which you have a debt, to determine if
your debt was submitted for a tax refund offset. If your debt was submitted
for offset, FMS will take as much of your refund as is needed to pay off the
debt and send it to the agency you owe. Any portion of your refund remaining
after offset will be issued in a check to you or direct deposited for you.
FMS 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. FMS will notify the IRS
of the amount taken from your refund. Contact the agency shown on the notice
if you believe you do not owe the debt or you are disputing the amount taken
from your refund. If a notice is not received contact 800–304–3107
or TDD 866–297–0517. The available hours are Monday through Friday
7:30AM to 5:00PM CT. Spanish speaking assistors are available Monday through
Friday 12:30PM to 5:00PM CT. Contact the IRS only if your original refund
amount shown on the FMS offset notice differs from the refund amount shown
on your tax return.
If you filed a joint return and you're not responsible for the debt, but
you are entitled to a portion of the refund you may request your portion of
the refund by filing Form 8379 (PDF), Injured
Spouse Allocation. Attach Form 8379 to your original Form 1040 (PDF), Form 1040A (PDF), or Form 1040EZ (PDF) or file it by itself after you are notified of an offset. If
you file a Form 8379 with your return, write "INJURED SPOUSE" at
the top left corner of the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ. IRS will process your
allocation request before an offset occurs. If you file Form 8379 with your
original return, it may take 11 weeks for Electronic Filed returns or up to
14 weeks from the date of filing if you file a paper return, to process your
If you are filing Form 8379 by itself, it must show both spouses' social
security numbers in the same order as they appeared on your income tax return.
You, the "injured" spouse, must sign the form. Follow the instructions on
Form 8379 carefully and be sure to attach the required forms to avoid delays.
Do not attach the previously filed Form 1040 to the Form 8379. Send Form 8379
to the Service Center where you filed your original return. Allow at least
8 weeks for IRS to process your allocation request. We will compute the injured
spouse's share of the joint return for you. If you lived in a community property
state during the tax year, we will divide the joint refund based upon state
law. For additional information, FMS can be reached at 800-304-3107.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: December 22, 2008
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