4 Reasons the IRS Can Seize Your Income Tax Refund Money for Debt

seize moneyIf you’ve recently filed your taxes and were expecting a nice fat refund check, you may be shocked if you check the tax refund status and discover that it’s no longer coming.

Believe it or not, there are several situations in which the IRS can rightfully seize your refund. Therefore, before crying foul and blaming the government for making a terrible mistake, consider whether any of the numerous reasons for tax refund seizure could apply to you.

Reasons for Tax Refund Seizure

1. You Have Past Tax Debt
If you have an outstanding tax debt from previous years, the IRS can just take your expected refund and apply it to the old debt without so much as a thank you note. It does not matter whether the debt is from last year or more than a decade ago – the IRS has a long memory, and will take the owed funds whenever the discrepancy is discovered.

Keep in mind, it does not matter whether the money you owe is for federal or state taxes. If you’re behind on your state tax bill, the state government can either seize your state refund, or apply to the IRS to seize money from your federal refund.

2. You Owe Child Support
The Federal Government will eventually notice if you are behind on child support payments. In fact, federal and state agencies can place levies on your refund to help pay your outstanding child support debt.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re home free when your son or daughter reaches 18 years of age. If you are still delinquent, this can continue even past the time that your child no longer qualifies for support.

3. You’re in Bankruptcy
Paying down debt can be a smart way to use your tax refund money, and if you’re currently going through bankruptcy, your bankruptcy trustee might make that decision for you.

Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee can request that the court take your refund and apply it to your debts. Chapter 7 filers may lose their refund, but can exempt some of it from seizure.

Once your bankruptcy is fully discharged, your refunds will be safe. If you think this could happen to you, check with your bankruptcy trustee.

4. You’ve Defaulted on Student Loans
Part of the reason that student loans have much better interest rates than other loans is because they’re nearly impossible to escape. If you get old enough, the government can even take payments out of your Social Security check to cover them. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a shock that the IRS can turn your refund over to the Department of Education to pay for any loans you’ve defaulted on.

Married Filing Jointly

You should be aware that if you file jointly with your spouse and he or she is in a situation where his or her tax refund will be seized, yours will be seized as well. Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to hold on to your share of the refund:

  1. File Separately. If you file your taxes as married filing separately, you don’t have to worry about this issue. Your refund will be safe and your spouse must bear the burden of his or her financial issues alone.
  2. Injured Spouse Allocation. If you want to avoid having your part of the refund seized, you can file for “injured spouse relief” in order to make your case to the IRS that you paid your own share of taxes and didn’t have anything to do with the situation. You must have your own income and have made tax payments or had taxes withheld from that income, and you must be expecting a refund of at least some of those taxes that you paid on your own income.

To apply for injured spouse relief and determine how much you should get back, you’ll need to complete Form 8379, “Injured Spouse Allocation.” Also, don’t confuse injured spouse relief with innocent spouse relief, which comes into play when the other spouse has falsified a tax return, under-reported income, is guilty of tax evasion or fraud, or committed other acts that might have civil penalties to both spouses if a joint return was filed.

What Your Refund Can’t Be Seized for

Even if the above situations don’t apply to you, the possibility of having your refund seized might still be a concern if you’re experiencing financial difficulties. You may be relieved to know that there are certain instances that do not warrant seizure.

The IRS cannot seize your refund for the following:

  • Credit Card or Mortgage Debt (Not Related to Bankruptcy). Only federal agencies can take your refund. However, if your bank account has a lien on it, a creditor might be able to swoop in and take money out if it’s notified you received a hefty deposit.
  • Collection Agencies. No collection agency or creditor can intercept your refund without a lien, or add on to any existing tax debt. If a collection agency tries to convince you that they’re from the IRS, don’t bite. The IRS does use collection agencies, but only a select few, who will be happy to prove that they work for the IRS.
  • Overdrawn Checking Accounts and Bank Overages. The bank can’t take your refund; however, it is likely that if a refund lands in the troubled account, the bank will apply any penalties or bank overage fees against it before you can withdraw the money.

Holding The Refund

There are several reasons that the IRS may hold your refund. It isn’t taking your refund (not yet, anyway), but the IRS can keep it from being provided to you. In each of these situations, the IRS should contact you by mail to provide more details and a plan for resolution.

  • You Didn’t File Taxes In a Previous Year. If you didn’t file your taxes in a prior year, the IRS may hold your refund until you prove that you don’t have a tax debt from that year. The only way you can get the IRS to release your refund is if you go ahead and file for that year, or send a letter explaining why you didn’t file, and request more time.
  • Your Spouse Filed an Injured Spouse Allocation Form. If your spouse filed a Form 8379 as detailed above, the IRS may put your refund on hold until it can process all the paperwork and sort out who should get what.
  • You’re Currently on a Payment Plan for Back Taxes. If you weren’t able to pay your taxes in full in a previous year and had to contact the IRS to work out a payment plan, the IRS may hold your refund until it has determined whether the money should be put toward your payment plan.

Final Word

If you have financial troubles, whether they’re in the form of an unpaid tax bill, late child support, bankruptcy, or student loan debt you’ve defaulted on, make sure you understand the possible consequences. You can also check with the IRS to see if it’s planning to seize your tax refund.

Remember, all of the above reasons for tax refund seizure will occur at the federal level before your refund is processed – asking for the refund to be sent to another account or put on a tax refund debit card won’t help. And if your spouse is the reason for your refund woes, you can put in an application for injured spouse relief, even if his or her refund has already been seized. If your refund is seized ultimately, you can at least rest assured that a portion of your debt has been paid.

Has your tax refund ever been seized? If so, what were the circumstances?

  • Steve7874

    if my wife and i are delnqunt on property taxes and are in forclosure but have refund coming from irs can that money be taken by state/we have allready begun the chapte 13 proces

    • Kira Botkin

      Yes, the bankruptcy trustee can ask that your refund be applied towards your debts, but unless your property taxes are the only debt you are discharging through chapter 13, those are two separate processes (the refund seizure and being delinquent on property taxes, that is.) If you have other debts the refund can be seized and put towards those debts. You should ask your lawyer.

      • Rachtyree

        If you default on a student loan I know they can take it but how long of non-payment does it usually take? I would like to get on a payment schedule and if I do that before I file will they still take the money from my income taxes?

        • Kira Botkin

          You would have to contact your student loan provider to find out how long you can go without paying before they consider you to be in default.



    • Kira Botkin

      The IRS wouldn’t take your refund directly – they will only do that for instances where you owe money to the federal government.

  • Kaye_tobi

    I “graduated” from college in sept. of 2010, which means i had until March 2011 to start paying back my student loans, however i was unemployed and had just had a baby in March 2011 so i was granted a deferrment for another 6 months, i was just recently granted another deferrment until March of 2013, my husband and i were wondering if the IRS can still take our refund since we have the deferrment or if we should be worried.

    • Kira Botkin

      If you’re currently on deferment, you shouldn’t also simultaneously be defaulted on your loans. It doesn’t sound like you were in default on your loans at any point.

  • http://twitter.com/femischo Fe Mischo

    I just checked mine and my husbands bank account and it showed we were getting back less than half of what we were expecting. I called the FMS (?) and his ssn checked out…so I did mine. it said I owed over $5000 to the Dept. of Edu. I only went to college in 2006 and due to it being crappy and unaccredited I quit. When I talked to my financial aid person she advised me not to worry that my loans had been canceled. in 2007 when my husband and I were going in for a loan the school loans showed up. We went back to the school and talked to the head of the financial aid dept. She said that the money was sent back to sallie mae. I returned all of my books, never took out supplies and left before the end of the 2nd quarter. The program ended the quarter after I left because it was shotty and no one could get hired from it. I was fully assured that it would be taken care of and never heard another then about it until now. 6 years later and with no notice, BAM they take all of my husbands hard earned military pay! I am a stay at home mom of 3 kids. we are by no means reach. I researched a bit and by the code 34 cfr parts 30.20 to 30.33 stating that I was to receive prior notice before any of this took place. I have not heard a peep since I left the school in 2006. What are my rights, what can I do to get our money back?

    • Kira Botkin

      Sorry but this is way beyond what a writer on the internet can help you with. You should contact Legal Aid.

  • Kfields4591

    Will they take my refund if I owe money to unemployment
    for overpayment?

    • Jojo

      No they can’t. But they can and will take your state refund.

    • Kira Botkin

      Unemployment is administered by the states, so the state can’t take your federal refund, but they will probably take your state refund.

  • jesse herrera

    will the irs hold if your behind on your alimony?
    or does it just apply to child support?

    • Kira Botkin

      Depending on your state, it is possible. Child support is more strongly enforced than alimony in most jurisdictions though.

  • Ellebanna

    I applied for student loans when I was in college but had stopped payment when I lost my job in 2009 and have been unemployed ever since. I am now married and have a baby. My husband is our only source of income. If my husband files married filing jointly (even though I didn’t have anything to file for) will the federal and state automatically take his refund because of my student loan?

    • Kira Botkin

      Yes, it is possible, because when you file jointly it’s not HIS refund, it becomes OUR refund. The best course of action would be to call the loan administrators and try to get on a hardship deferral or income sensitive repayment plan.

  • sam

    I filed jointly with husband not realizing i had a balance on my school bill balance due. I am unemployed with a baby and so the income was completely on my husband. Well when i found out that they were taking every penny of it i immediately called and said my husband qualified for a injured spouse claim can anyone. Explain how this works and if my husband will get all of his tax return or partial ? I dont understand how he could be held responsible for my debt that was way before we married

    • Kira Botkin

      When you file jointly your refund becomes the property of both of you jointly, and the government does not portion out who gets what part of the refund. He isn’t being held responsible for your debt – the government considers a joint refund YOUR property as well as his, so they can seize it for YOUR debt.

      As listed above you should fill out the injured spouse form – if you look at the form, question 3 clearly asks about the refund being seized for past debt owed only by your spouse. When you fill out the form you will list what parts of the refund were due to each spouse and if they approve your application he will receive whatever part is due to him. However, keep in mind that you will essentially be re-filing as married filing separately and are going to lose your child tax credit and earned income tax credit, so his refund is going to shrink a lot. Depending on how much that school bill is, it might be worth it to put the larger joint refund towards it anyway.

  • Dan

    I was recently taken to court for the shortfall on a vehicle lease that went to auction and didn’t sell for enough to cover the loan. I currently owe $15,000. Last week they garnished my bank account for the entire $631 that was in it to go towards the debts. I also processed my tax return last week and am expecting a return of $2000 very soon. Can they take that??

    • Kira Botkin

      What this article is talking about is the refund being seized before it ever hits your bank account – so since the lease company isn’t part of the government, they can’t do that. What they can do is pay a monitoring service that tells them when you have money in your account and then they immediately put in a garnish request to the bank. So if you are able to change how you get your money back, I’d try to get a check or a money card instead of a direct deposit. You might want to look into declaring bankruptcy if this is not a sum of money you’re going to be able to come up with anytime soon.

  • A&J

    My husband and I filed joint, and we knew we owed the IRS from 2010, and used our refund to pay that debt in full. Even after it was paid we were still expecting monies back. After calling the IRS because our refund was held up, they informed him that there was another debt (which they could not determine) that was keeping it held up. My husband (alone) started the chapter 7 bankruptcy, but hasn’t signed anything, (lawyer has been paid) and just recently had given all documents the paralegal needed. We keep calling the lawyers office, but he is either in court, or a meeting, etc etc. We’re not sure if it is the bankruptcy (since he hasn’t actually “filed” or signed anything) or if it is the credit union in which we owe monies to. I’ve been searching around for answers, and awaiting someone from the IRS to contact us, but that could be awhile. Could the credit union grab our refund, even if we secured a lawyer, and without notification. Our lawyer never told us the consequences of filing regarding our refund.

    • Kira Botkin

      If your husband hasn’t actually filed for bankruptcy, that wouldn’t affect anything. I would guess that some paperwork got crossed since you already owed the IRS something, and so someone put on the hold without knowing you already paid it off. It’s unlikely but possible, depending on the credit union’s status re the government, that they put in a request for a portion of your refund. You need to talk to your lawyer and actually file those bankruptcy papers before much will happen.

  • jason

    This might be a dumb question, can the IRS take money from my refund that was already deposited into my bank account? I owe back child support and just saw that $2100 was taken from my account and I’m not sure who took it?? Its a holiday so everything still says “pending” therefore it doesnt say where the money went to on my account, it just says a a few letters and number where it would normally say “walmart POS purchase”, for example.

    • Kira Botkin

      The IRS is unlikely to take it after it’s been deposited, but the government can sure as heck garnish your bank account for back child support.

      • Tom

        Kira, My sister is going through some of these issues, also. Can her refund be garnished or taken back by the IRS or anyone else after it has already been deposited onto a pre-paid debit card?

    • -A

      Contact the child support agency and your bank. It sounds like the child support agency attached a levy to you. A levy will allow them access to your bank accounts, tax returns, holding your passport and potentially your driver’s license. If you do not have a court order stating you are not to be levied… anything over $3,200.00 (I think that’s the dollar amount) is available to the child support agency to take on behalf of arrears. GOOD LUCK!

  • Jenyka Hayes

    Can the IRS take our refund money if we had a car repossessed and might owe the credit union? We just checked on the status of our refund and it says the IRS took all of our refund for a debt but they haven’t said what the debt is or who it’s owed too yet

    • Kira Botkin

      It’s possible if the credit union is affiliated with a governmental institution.

      • Jenyka Hayes

        It’s BECU so I don’t know if they are or not

  • ashley mead

    I looked on the IRS website to check the status of my refund and it said “your refund has been applied to a past due tax credit… does that mean all of it? Furthermore what is this.. ????

    • Kira Botkin

      It sounds like you have not paid all of the taxes you were supposed to in past years. If it doesn’t have a status that says how much is still being sent to you, they probably did apply all of it towards the old tax debt.

  • Mark

    If the IRS took money from your return, would it show up on the where is my refund section of their website. As of right now it says that my return was accepted and the refund amount is exactly what I expected and I have a date of deposit into my account. Is it safe to assume that they didn’t take anything out of my return?

    • SEli

      No, it stated that too until today. Beware, they will take it.

    • Kira Botkin

      In this situation, I wouldn’t count my dollars until they are under my mattress. They could reverse that at any time.

  • Rebecca

    The IRS took almost all of my husband’s refund and there is no reason why! He is in no debt whatsoever except for an old over drawn bank account. Have you ever heard of this? Why are they doing this and what can be done???

    • Kira Botkin

      You should contact the IRS, they will be able to provide a reason.

  • Marie

    I owe a gym membership. Can they take money out for that???

    • Kira Botkin

      Not directly from the refund before it hits your bank account, no.

  • Ross

    iI had included past due federal taxes in my chapter 13. I was told by my attorney that this debt would be paid through my plan, Well, the IRS seized my entire refund instead of accepting payments from the trustee !! Is this a common practice ? I was at least expecting to get my return since I thought I had done it right.

    • Kira Botkin

      Did your bankruptcy fully process already? If it’s not processed yet, they may not know about your bankruptcy plan. Either way you need to contact your attorney.

  • Tanmustard

    We are hoping for a refund from the earned income credit. We filed chapter 13 in 2012. I heard the bankruptcy trustee cannot take the earned income credit but we still owe it’s and we have been making monthly payments. Can they still take our refund?? Our return status shows approved processed and set to be direct deposited this week. Please help with any info!! Thanks in advance

    • Kira Botkin

      If you owe any back taxes, child support, or student loans, they might, but I believe the trustee has to request the refund be applied. But I wouldn’t count that check till the money’s safe in your bank account (or under your mattress.)

  • catlyn39

    If we are expecting a state refund and are current on our installment agreement payments with the irs, will the state refund go to the irs?

    • Kira Botkin

      Probably not. Usually the way it works is that federal refunds are taken for federal taxes, and state refunds are taken for state taxes.

  • Danielle

    I know this may sound dumb but, what is the difference between state tax and federal taxes?

    • Kira Botkin

      You fill out an income tax form and pay income taxes to the state government, and you fill out a different income tax form and pay different taxes to the federal government. The tax money goes into separate pools.

  • add

    My bf claimed me and our two kids i got foodstamps last year didnt bother to update our new address or report his income can they sue him for that.also he owes old cell phone companies can federal take that too?we are under review and im a bit worried

    • Kira Botkin

      I’m not clear what food stamps have to do with it, but if he filed taxes and claimed you and your children as dependents without actually reporting his income, yes, they will come after him for that. If he had any kind of a regular job, the job would have sent his W-2 to the IRS, and the IRS is going to wonder why he didn’t put that income on his taxes.

      The phone companies cannot take his refund but if they have placed a levy on his bank account they could take the money when it comes in. He would have to have been notified about the levy though.

  • kandi

    I filed my income tax return beginning of March. I checked the status of my return and irs STATED would be mailed to me on the 18th. Checked it again last night and it said that the refund was seized for past due child support, school loans or something else. I don’t have any of those but what I’m wondering is I filed Head of house and I didn’t claim my husband this yr like last yr. We are legally seperated and I’am wondering if it might have something to do with the last time I filed married.

    • Kira Botkin

      Legally separated or not, if you are not divorced you must still file as married. You cannot file as a single head of household if you are still legally married. If he filed his taxes and put down married, the IRS might hold up your return. And if you are still legally married, they could theoretically still have you linked somewhere and be holding up the refund for something that your husband has going on.

  • smc

    If my husband and I file married filing separate, who claims our 3 yrs old daughter as filing separate puts us out on getting the family credit for children

    • Kira Botkin

      I have not ever seen a specific rule on who gets to claim a child between parents who are married and live together but file separately, as long as you don’t both claim her.

  • Jack black

    I just filed my taxes on tax act and when I was done, I noticed I had typed in all the info from last years w2, my refund amount was like $900, my question is do you think they will go ahead and deposit my refund and work the difference out once I file an ammendment or will I have to file a 1040x before I get my refund, I have a lot of bills is why im so worried I heard 1040x can take like 12 weeks.

    • Kira Botkin

      You should send in that 1040X. It is likely that they will kick the return back to you since it doesn’t match, but if they don’t, they will almost certainly deposit your refund before the 1040X is processed.

  • stevo

    Im in a payment plan with state. Im getting a federal refund. Will state take federal refund to cover owed state taxes that are in payment plan? Will it happen and can it happen?

    • Kira Botkin

      It’s very unlikely to happen because federal and state taxes are managed by different agencies who don’t really communicate well. So it can happen, but realistically it won’t as long as you’re current on your payment plan and the state isn’t looking to garnish your bank account.

    • HD

      It happened to me this year, and I was on a payment plan and current with all payments, and they took all my federal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/donnasellsri Donna Silva

    I made an error on my return and calculated a larger refund than I was entitled. I was going to put 75% towards my next years taxes and have 25% deposited in my checking account. The IRS sent me a letter stating that I would not get a refund and 100% of the corrected refund would be applied to next years taxes. Can I get some of that back…like the same percentage as is the incorrect refund?

  • http://www.facebook.com/donnasellsri Donna Silva

    I made an error on my return and calculated a larger refund than I was entitled. I was going to put 75% towards my next years taxes and have 25% deposited in my checking account. The IRS sent me a letter stating that I would not get a refund and 100% of the corrected refund would be applied to next years taxes. Can I get some of that back…like the same percentage as is the incorrect refund?

    • Kira Botkin

      If the “corrected” amount is the same or less than 75% of the amount you calculated, then no, probably not. You could try calling the IRS though at 800-829-1040 and see if there is a form you could submit.. but if the amount they’re applying to next year’s taxes is about what you already told them you wanted applied, it seems that they took you at your word at how much in $$ you wanted applied, if not in percentage.

  • jenny

    I filed my taxes on Feb.7th,my expected refund came in, but, went to another Debit card number on Feb.28th. I called the Debit Card Company,which says they sent it back to the IRS on Mar.25th,and that the IRS will be sending it to me in, “paper check “.It is now April 29th.Well,I call the IRS every Fri,and they still haven’t received it.They said its prob in the mail room waiting to be opened.My question is..how long do you think it’ll be until I get my tax refund?As a Single Mother of six children we rely on our taxes to get our main necessities during this time,like clothes,shoes ect.I only make enough to take care of bills.

    • Kira Botkin

      Unfortunately I really don’t have an answer for you other than to keep calling the IRS. Paper checks from the IRS often take 6-8 weeks to process so it isn’t that surprising that after a month it still hasn’t arrived. If you filed your taxes today and requested a check it would take 6-8 weeks to get that check.

  • Rosie

    My federal taxes were applied to a debt i owed the dept of education because of my student loans, i filed for hardship and provided the documents, one which was an eviction, i was approved to received partial payment of my refund but im still waiting the dept of ed knows that i have an eviction my family is about to be thrown out of our place, all the dept of education keep telling me is that its in process,im starting to believe that its all bullshit im just getting the run around how long do i have to wait?does anybody know?

  • Brian S. Colbert

    I’m on a payment plan with the IRS for 5 years years which was set up though a tax attorney (Roni Lynn Deutch). For the past 3 years the IRS has kept my income tax check which I feel isn’t right. Do they have the right to keep the checks?

  • maranda

    if my husband is the only one that brings in income and files taxes and my name is on their but with no income and i have a debt on a student loan can they take his taxes away because of my debt?

    thank you =)

  • Chris B.

    I owe the IRS state sales tax for a business that I had a few years ago. My ex wife owes back child support and said that they took her tax refund to help catch it up. will the IRS take that and put it toward my state sales tax that i owe. I am from Indiana if that makes a difference

  • bonnie

    Hi.. if I have outstanding hospital bills.. will they be able to take from my taxes? Also if I have cell phone bills as well as cable bills.. can they take out of my taxes? Please help

    • dustin

      I have begin wondering that myself the IRS took 3 thousand of my money an only gave me a thousand

  • carole

    I have an 18yr old daughter, who dropped a class in junior college and because of this, her financial aid was revoked-can MY taxes be kept to pay this?

  • Help911

    My husband owes the irs from a year which we were not married. We file separately so I wanna know will they take my taxes. What to do could I worked hard for my money so I can clear up bills?

    • linda

      no just his taxes

  • Valencia Dobbins

    FUCK the IRS…they are the reason why millions are living below poverty lines in the US now.

  • Jessica

    My boyfriend owed 1900.00 in back child support last year. His ex wife still claims she has not recieved it. It was taken out his return for 2012. She said her SBA loan may of taken it. Is that possible?

    • Bizz

      If they did take the money the irs should send her a letter letting her no.

  • Bizz

    If I owe a company for a motorcycle loan can they still my tax return to pay my debt

  • ihaveaquestion

    My husband is in the military & I haven’t worked in about 5 years.But I was sued for a car loan from before we were married. could my husbands tax check be seized?

    • linda


  • chris

    I owe them 1,200 will they take my whole check or just what I owe??

    • Sam

      Just what you owe

  • jennie226

    Will I still receive my federal tax return if I have an outstanding SBA loan?

  • Sam

    The IRS has been taking my federal tax refund (but not state) for about 4 years now for my defaulted student loans. I had a baby in 2013. My question is, will they take the child tax credit I’ll receive for having my son or only the taxes from work??

    • linda

      they will take it all

  • Yashira

    If I filed with my husband, he is the one who owes student loan, My takes have been accepted I should be getting the money by this week and it the full amount, there is any possibility they can take the money for whatever he owes… He already made some several payment for his student loan

    • Josh N

      I was expecting my tax returns this week my wife just graduated college in December which means she was supposed to have until June to start making her payments for her student loan, I look this morning my refund went through and they took the entire thing. I would have him check beforehand because if they take it you’ll have to file the injured spouse paperwork form 8379 to try and get your share back.

  • gabe

    I am default on my student loans I owe $ 2100. But my refund is $ 4064. Will the irs take it all?

    • Rach

      they will only take what u owe.

  • Anthony

    I filed my taxes and because my wife, whom I just married this year, had defaulted student loans from 3 years ago I filled out the “injured spouse” form for just in case purposes instead of crossing my fingers. Now my tax refund is taking forever and I’m starting to regret doing that. Should I have just taken a chance since she hadn’t received a notice of money owed yet or was it a good option to fill that form out ahead of time?

  • britt

    If i was sued by columbus state in 2011 for a school grant..not loan can the irs take my money

  • Jenny Lynn Miller

    My parent plus loans were forgiven for total and permanent disability. They have already kept all of my payments that should have been refunded to me since I have been disabled. Will they take my tax return too?

  • Dusty trails

    If I deferred on my student loans will the irs keep my refund? On the track my defund website it has been approved and scheduled to be sent….do you think I will get my refund?

    • Amanda

      No, I think they will keep it. My federal was 5,595 and they kept it due to my defaulted student loan. I was given a refund date, went to check if all was ok and it said they are keeping my refund. I have never even received letter to make payments-now I get nothing. There’s supposedly a number you can call regarding financial questions, I’ve not yet been able to get through.

  • Christopher Leigh

    I owe 8,000 in child support and 6000 in VA student loan which one will take my income tax refund. I hope it’s child s support

    • mackenzie wunderlich

      My Uncle James recently got a new black Mazda MAZDASPEED3
      Hatchback by working at home online. you can try here F­i­s­c­a­l­P­o­s­t­.­?­o­m

  • april

    I filled on feb 5 an I have not been approved what wrong?

  • Eric

    I looked on the irs website its been approved an I have a deposit date….when do u know if they are taking it?

    • suelee

      You will not know until your refund gets deposited, whatever you owe is taken out and if any the remainder is deposited into your bank account. A letter will come later stating the reason. I know because I defaulted on student loans and this happened to me last tax year.

  • ashley

    i received $900 out of my what was supposed to be $4200 of tax returns and irs said they are going to send me a letter in 30 days for info if i will receive the rest.. it didnt say why so im wondering why they would hold it ??

  • melp

    The IRS sent me a letter stating I owed them money from 2011. Their numbers were wrong and I have been mailing back and forth with them more and more documentation to get the numbers squared away. Since they sent me a letter stating I owe X dollars, but I have not paid anything yet as I keep going back re-arguing and re-submitting documentation, will they take my refund already?

  • katy

    i am making payments to unemployment for overpaid benefits. can they take my husbands and i federal tax refund? i made a payment but it wasnt for full amount. i sent a letter to them and due to less hours at work i could only afford the amount i sent. i will continue to make payments but was wondering if they would take federal or
    state refund

    • Mike

      Did they end up taking it since you owed unemployment

  • Mara

    I got a letter from the board of education stating that I paid off my student loans in 2012. I got my tax refund 2013. Then i get a letter stating I owe on my student loans which i had already paid. I called the IRS and they said they didn’t see any liens on my account so I would get my refund. I file my taxes and they still took my refund this year stating I owed student loan. Why would they take my refund if I have proof that it was paid off the loans and the IRS said there was no longer a lien on my taxes? Why take it this year but not last year? Also I had not taken out a new student loan since I paid off the last one.

    • Lexxi

      If you find out why let me know! For two years the IRS has taken my refund to pay a defaulted student loan that I never took out. I disputed it and showed evidence that it was impossible for me to take out the loan. They never returned my money but sent me a letter stating that the debt was paid off in full after they kept last years refund. This year they again took my entire refund check for the DoE. Its bogus and no one is telling me anything.

      • HB

        I was told I had to contact the company directly that had put my taxes in to cirtification and convince them to take it out in order to stop them from taking my refund. Ugh.

    • lucky00

      the IRS has taken my tax return 3 times for my student loan 2002/2005/2013 who can i call? what can i do?

  • Thomas

    A full year we’ve been waiting for our refund from 2012 and our refund from 2013 is now overdue. What’s driving us nuts is not just that we’re not getting our refunds–to which we’re legitimately entitled (We’ve not been informed otherwise.) It’s that we don’t know why we’re not getting them. WHY, WHY, WHY? We’ve called the IRS half a dozen times at least and not gotten any satisfaction, any understanding of what the problem might be. Only that the agency is hard pressed and doing to the best in can under difficult, complicated circumstances. BULLSHIT!

  • Myhartstaken

    I filed jointly and got our taxes back. We spent it on all things to get financially ahead. We have a little left. Normally, we live pay check to pay check. Now, we’re screwed because the IRS wants all we have left plus a thousand more. All we have left is 2,000 and on top of that my husbands pay check is no more than 1,000. They’d basically be taking all of our earnings. What do we do? We weren’t dishonest on taxes. I don’t know how to prove this. Are we stuck paying?

    • barbie519

      Did you receive a letter or a phone call? I’m only asking because they’re is an IRS SCAM going on where they call and say you owe money. It’s not real. The IRS only sends MAIL. So just be careful..if you did get this info from a phone call. PLEASE call the irs fraud line. Good Luck!!

  • barbie519

    I apparently didn’t do my taxes in 2010. Collections had me do a 1040EZ for 2010 and fax it to them while I was on the phone w/the gentleman from collections, he said it would speed up the process of them taking what I owed and the hold would be released. I received a letter this wk dated 3/27 btw, stating I would be receiving $4,895 instead of the $7,061 I was originally supposed to get which is fine, if I owed it I have to pay it. But the gentleman from collections that I originally spoke to said I’d have my refund in 2weeks. Well it’s been 4weeks and when I call collections every person has a different reason as to why it’s still on hold. WMR says it’s being processed and a refund date will be provided when available. Is anyone else having this problem? When are they going to give me my money? Some collection workers say I’ll be getting it by check and other workers tell me I’ll get it direct deposited like I initially wanted it returned according to my taxes. This is by far the most annoying thing I’ve ever dealt with. Please any answers would help. Thanks and good luck everyone.

    • R.F.

      hi well i am having the same issues sort of i had a stroke early in 2010, and thought the accounting firm i was using had done a medical exemption, but they had not, the first call i got the guy,s english was so bad i thought it was a person fishing for info, having had THAT happen b4, now the money is so tight that coming up with the fee to file because accountant has ALL the documents is almost impossible, Anyway i for one will be changing my witholdings amount on my w4, so i do not overpay more than a dollar or two, i only owe $182.00 & these thieves are holding over $2,000, I Think everyone should change theire withholding & teach these thieves a lesson, they COUNT on people not filing to get xtra money, LET,S STOP THIS.

  • Veronica

    I’m wondering if a college can seize my tax refund because they say I owe them money. I was never informed that they thought I owe them.

    • Michelle

      Student loans can but not the college if its not a loan

  • lisa

    can a title loan company take my refund

    • Alan Dallas

      Only if they’re ran by the Federal government.

  • michelle

    I cant find a answer on here.. I wanted to know if driver responsibly fees can be taken from ur federal taxes.. I know they take your state taxes..

    • Alan Dallas

      That’s a state fee. Check with your states tax board for state levied fee’s that are garnish-able from state tax returns. BTW, only 2 states have “driver responsibly fees”, MI and NY. And MI is doing away with their’s soon I hear. At the State level only past due State income taxes may be garnished from your federal tax return and that’s it.

    • Ashlee

      They took mine last year..They took all of what I owed.Don’t know about NY but In Michigan expect them to be taken if your behind on the payments! It sucks!!

      • seaweed

        Michigan is corrupt. And the double dipping via those fees are against our Constitutional Rights.

  • Kat

    I started paying my defaulted student loans a couple months ago. They said my taxes can get seized still but that there may be a way to prevent my taxes from getting seized by the IRS. It was recommended that I talk to a tax professional.

    • jessica b

      As long as your student loans are not in default then you are not going to have them taken. I’ve dealt with this off and on for several years between myself and my fiance. We even waited till tax time to call student loan offices and set up payment arrangements, once they were satisfied with arrangements we filed and nothing was taken

  • Brenda

    My husban owes back child support, is there a way as his wife of new child that i can get a portion of his tax refund?

    • candace

      Bahaha ..as a wife of a husband that earns her own $$ as well..and having 3 children together..the x gets all the dough. I don’t file with him at all so she does not get what MY children have coming out of MY money.
      Your screwed til he pays it off.

  • hb

    If my tax refund is taken because of a student loan can I file a hardship to get it back? If so how?

    • cheerfulmind

      No. It’s too late. You should still file for forbearance/hardship, if you can. You’ll get more reasonable payment plans and a better deal on getting out of default. The refund though is gone. Sorry!

  • LJ

    I didn’t file my tax return from last year because I owed 70 bucks and I didn’t realize that it’s better to file and make payment arrangements then it is to not file at all. I regret this decision. My question is, I filed this years taxes and should be getting a refund of 1000. Will they hold my refund because I didn’t file last year??

    • intelligenceisbeauty

      They will deduct that amount and give you the difference, if they catch it. But if you didn’t file, it my slip on by. Now if you call them, they will look up your previous years, lol

    • BL

      They will keep whatever return you have coming to you to cover your debt, even if you make payment arrangements. This is all based on past experience. They want their money anyway they can get it.

    • cheerfulmind

      You probably have your refund by now. The IRS isn’t that quick. You haven’t even been a full year late yet. I’d file though, it’s 5% penalty per month (whereas it’s .5% penalty per month once you file even if you don’t pay right away).

  • melissa

    I have been married for 3 years now and my husband is disabled. But he does owe back taxes from years ago when he was married before. My question is can I claim him and if I did will the IRS take my refund?

    • Jhonny2Thumps

      You dont claim your spouse..Your filing status is Married filing jointly or Married filing Seperate your choice

  • April

    I owe students loans but they have not yet went into default will i still receive a refund?

    • Mandy

      yes you should….they will have to be in default for a couple years before they take from a refund. I actually had a student loan I took out in 2003 and the last time I made a payment on it was in 2007-2008 sometime and they did not take from my refund until last year. They have to give you notification before they do anything.

  • elliott

    I owed a debt to my state and they took it from my federal taxes and I checked this morning and it says my state taxes need further review, my question is , is it because they are waiting for the federal government to make a payment before they release those funds?

  • mlhanna

    If i owe fines court cost and restutionbut im up to date on it all will they take my refund

    • Chelsie

      They can take state refunds for past state debt, but I don’t believe they can take federal refunds… unless it is a federal case…. then I’m not sure.

      • tacarra

        So my husband got a letter sayin he owes 138.00 on hospital bill so if we only had 3.00 in state is that where they take from or do they take federal too

    • K

      YES they can!! My husband owes and has made every payment faithfully every month and they still took it!!

  • jimmy

    Can they take my refund, even though I’m in audit reconsideration?

  • amir

    I thought everything was fine with my refund until I got a letter saying that it had been used to pay a debt. Thing is I’m not in debt. The debt in question is actually my mother’s. Can they rightfully take money from my refund to pay her debt instead of taking it from her refund?

    • Nony

      Okay, yeah, can someone answer this one please? Because my fiancee did not know he was in any debt (in fact, he just completely paid all of his student debt off last September) and we just got a letter from the IRS saying that part of his refund was taken to pay a “Non-Tax Federal Debt”. The only person we know in debt is his dad, whose bank account is overdrawn and whatnot, but we don’t know much about that and we certainly don’t live with him or anything, so…..What’s going on here?

      • cheerfulmind

        The letter should have identified the debt very clearly and if there’s absolutely no paperwork to support a connection (e.g., cosigning, etc.) then you have a claim. But it’s unlikely to be a mistake since a Non-Tax Federal Debt means it was seized by a Federal agency. They don’t usually get the wrong information. If, for example, it’s a Student Loan that was in the mother’s name AND the son’s…that would allow for a refund seizure.

        The other examples like the dad’s bank account aren’t the culprit as they’re not federal agencies.

  • jjackson8413

    apparently my husband owes$2000 in back child support, we are suppose to get a refund of over $8,000. I know we will get the remainder, but how long does it take to get my refund? Our return was accepted on January 21st. I should have had it last friday. Can anyone help?

  • Devin

    How do i find out what the money they took out went to? my refund was 1200 less then expected? i do not owe any past tax, but i am behind on my student loans, but only by 8 months and $900

  • Blu

    My wife doesnt work and hasn’t work for years, we filed jointly this year.Can my refund be taken for her debt she made before we got married.

  • Judy

    My son owes for housing at a state college he attended. They are taking his state refund but can they take his federal too?

  • megan

    if the irs was notified this month about a defaulted student loan can they take my 2014 return

  • madaboutthis

    my son receives SSI and I make less than 12,000 a year I have been paying a collection agency 5.00$ a month towards my student loan from 2007. I have made 7 payments so far and they took my refund. I was to receive 4839.00$ and they took it all but didn’t touch last years income tax refund or the year before that or the year before that. They waited until I actually had a good refund and they take it away. I don’t know what to do rent is due all my bills have shut off notices. help ?

    • Nao

      Never EVER rely on a tax refund to come save you from debt or bills that need paying. If your about to lose your place to live then you need to head to a local shelter.

      • cheerfuldays

        That’s neither helpful nor grammatically correct nor even slightly compassionate.

        But madaboutthis, I’ve found it to be very true myself–the US Dept of Ed can seize tax refunds for any loan in default, at any time. They can also garnish wages (at an amount determined “reasonable” at your income). From your statement, the loan’s status isn’t 100% clear. It sounds like you should have been able or may still be able to claim forbearance. If it was indeed in full default though, it takes 12 on time payments to cure usually unless you’ve established a different rehabilitation plan with the collection agency? If say, you paid 7 and it was to be rehabilitated after 6, then I would be on the phone with the Dept of Ed. If you were paying and there was no such agreement, then I’d be on the phone with my state’s emergency aid departments. There’s no way you don’t qualify for some relief.

    • SameBoat

      I had a similar problem last year……it depends on the rehabilitation loan program… I also paid $5 a month ….my plan was set to take me out of default in 9 payments…..I had to call and make special arrangements to make 2 payments in one month in order to be out of default by the close of 2014…..then when I filed everything was all good and I received my refund….but if I had not asked questions about it they were not going to explain to me that if I hadnt cleared my default by the end of the year they would take my refund……Good luck to you!

    • Bozo

      You’re not entitled to a refund because you owe on a defaulted student loan. A collection agency may have bought up your bad debt, but you still owe money on a federally backed loan. They will take every return you get until it’s paid in full.
      They wouldn’t have taken prior year returns because they probably hadn’t written it off as bad debt yet.
      I don’t know how you have student loans and only make 12000$ a year, but I would suggest putting your education to work and getting a better job instead of relying on a tax return being a 27% annual salary bonus.

  • Kristi Silva

    my husbands in default with student loans and just started garnishing his wages. Will they take our federal?

    • Jhonny2Thumps


    • Bozo


  • BMcCray

    Yes they took mines on yesterday

  • Nick Johnson

    apparently i received a letter from the dept of edu. stating they were going to take my tax return. so i signed up for a student loan rehab program on 1/6, made my frist payment on 1/29, submitted my taxes on 2/5 and they still took my return. is there any way i can get that back?

    • Bozo


  • Tweener™

    I was on a car accident 5 years ago but it wasn’t my fault but the guy is blaming me and I owe $6,000, can they take my refund?

    • Bozo


  • Dee

    If I the debtor of school loan was unemployed during 2014 can my husband get the money seized back? We filed jointly.

  • morgan

    get your urgent loan now No social security and no credit check, 100% Guarantee. All you have to do is let us know exactly what you want and we will surely make your dream come true. (PARKER MORISON FUNDS). says YES when your banks say NO. Lastly, we fund small scale loan firm, intermediaries, small scale financial institutions for we have unlimited capital. For further details to go about procuring a loan contact us, Kindly respond immediately to this email: [email protected]


    First Name:….
    Last Name:…..
    Zip Code:……
    State :………
    Date of birth:…
    Marital Status :..
    Loan Amount:……
    Purpose of loan:..
    Loan Duration :……..
    Monthly Income :…..
    Your international pass sport or drivers license is:
    Have you applied for loan before (yes or no)..

    note that loan is given out in 2% interest rate yearly, kindly get back to us now if interested.

    Best Regards.morgan

  • jb

    If I’m past due on my mortgage payment with the USDA—can they take my federal tax refund?

  • Minnie

    My boyfriend was incarcerated for 4 years came home got a job and filed when he got his w2. IRS took his $5,000 refund and claimed it was owed to them cause he has been filing something for the last 3 years. He showed proof he was in state prison with the fraud department but yet never got the money so what should be do now? Anyone please help!

  • melissa

    I was supposed to get a refund this year but they took it for 2012 but I found my paperwork and sent it in. Can I still get my refund since I submitted my w2 information for 2012.

  • Sierra

    I was recently married and my husband owed 5k to the IRS, our refund was supposed to be 6300$, can anyone tell me why they seized the entire amount instead of just the 5k?! I’ve tried getting through to the IRS to ask them directly, but the phone lines are backed up and it just hangs up on me every single time. Help?!

    • shelly

      Penalties and interest

  • amanda

    I did my taxs on turbo tax on February 9th and it’s March 3rd . I was suppose to get my tax refund on the second of march but I check my bank account and there no money in there . Why hasn’t it came in yet ?

    • nikki

      I’m in the same boat as you, i filed with turbo tax on Feb 3rd. i received a letter from the IRS a couple of weeks after that stating that they are looking into my refund. so Ive been waiting and checking the IRS website often but nothing on my status. i finally made an appointment with the IRS this past week and i really didn’t get an update besides the clerk informing me that the IRS are still looking into my refund and if i don’t hear anything within 60 days from the date i received my IRS letter that i will have to come back to the office so they can write a letter requesting a status update on my refund. kick is the 60 day will be next week so hopefully i hear something back. i hope you receive some sort of explaining as to why you haven’t received your refund.

    • lacey

      I filed with turbo tax on march 3rd, my return is supposedly still “processing” however I got word from turbo tax saying they have received word that my return has been seized, they can’t say why. …? I don’t owe child support, back taxes or student loans. I can’t get a hold of a real person at the irs…… any one have any ideas?

  • Jess

    The IRS took my paycheck and tax refund out of mine and my fiancés joint account because he owed from a previous year. They said they would give it back once he filed for his 2013 taxes and we could prove that it was MY money. We have done all of these things and we have not been able to get ahold of the IRS. Does anyone know of a sure way to get someone from the IRS on the phone?

    • AFHAD


  • karla

    I filed my son-n-law and daughters taxes online. I had to file Injured Spouse because of her student loans. The federal is still being processed but they said their state refund was being held for KCTS? Is that because of her loans? She had no income to contribute to last year. It’s their first year filling married. Is this normal? And I did their federal on Feb. 1st and still no update.

  • filed year requested when will

    I filed the year irs requested when will they release my 2014 refund?

    • fred

      Usually for special situations it takes up to 12 weeks, but usually closer to 8.

  • Jacob

    My girlfriend found out yesterday that her refund is being seized because she co-signed on her son’s student loan. Her son has been paying his loan back as scheduled, how can she fight this theft?

  • ctothevd

    If you owe for student loans can you apply your refund to next year’s taxes without it being intercepted?

  • ASDG


  • Ruby2342

    I didn’t file my 2013 taxes last year. Now I’m trying to do my 2014. I just did both. I mailed the 2013 in, overnight. But now I’m waiting to actually SUBMIT my 2014 return until I get confirmation from the IRS that they received my 2013 return from the mail. How long should I wait before I hit “submit” on my current tax return? Or is this something I should just do anyway? I am getting money back on BOTH returns, but if the IRS “does my 2013 taxes for me” it will come up that I owe. Since they don’t know any of my deductions. If I submit my 2014 before they review my 2013, will they hold back my 2014?

  • Flor tilley

    I just got married in december of 2014 my husband claimedme and my two kids from a previous relationship and we have a daughter together so like i said we filled taxes bt join filling and he claimed me and all 3 kids but he had backed child support but we never recieved a letter or absolute anything saying they were gonna take away anything arent they suppost to notify him wit something also we called the state were he has the child support case and they said that they weren’t suppost to take the credit he got for me and my two kids or if it possible or what pls help

  • Marian Lawson

    Do you need a loan to pay off your debt?
    Do you have bad credit?
    Do you need a loan construction or to invest?
    Do u you need loan to start doing business? if yes,
    are Granting you personal loan, Business loan, mortgage loan,
    Construction loan, Debt loan, Student loan, Auto loan, e.t.c. loan at any currency are range
    from $10,000 ”min” to $100,000.000 ”max” @ 2% interest rate.
    If you are interested kindly send
    response to: [email protected]

    *Full Name/Company Name:_________



    *loan amount:_________

    *Loan duration:_________


    *Purpose of loan:_________

    *Next of kins :_________

    *Email :_________

    *Awaiting your Response:_______
    [email protected]

    Best Regard

  • Marian Lawson

    Do you need a loan to pay off your debt?
    Do you have bad credit?
    Do you need a loan construction or to invest?
    Do u you need loan to start doing business? if yes,
    are Granting you personal loan, Business loan, mortgage loan,
    Construction loan, Debt loan, Student loan, Auto loan, e.t.c. loan at any currency are range
    from $10,000 ”min” to $100,000.000 ”max” @ 2% interest rate.
    If you are interested kindly send
    response to: [email protected]

    *Full Name/Company Name:_________



    *loan amount:_________

    *Loan duration:_________


    *Purpose of loan:_________

    *Next of kins :_________

    *Email :_________

    *Awaiting your Response:_______
    [email protected]

    Best Regard

  • Sherrie Win
  • Dr Oniha

    INTERCONTINETAL LOAN FIRM is a private loan company which offers loan at 2% interest rate for any amount and from any Country. if you really need a loan you will be required to fill the application form before we can start this transaction legally. your data are safe
    with us, so you have nothing to worry about.
    Note that we take our transactions with utmost seriousness and we also do make
    sure that our clients gets their loans transferred to them as possible if they follow up with the procedures of the loan company, below is our email address for you to get back to us:
    [email protected] or call +2349059942347
    waiting to here from you soon.

  • PMS

    Can they take your refund if you make less than the poverty line? Legally the collection agency can only take 5$ a month from us right now so can the government seize the tax return given that it would be taking more than the allowed % of income?

  • T. Rogers

    I filed in 2013 and got a refund, last year in 2015, i got a letter that the irs mistyped my nonprofits ein and now charging me taxes for a company in California based on what they made in Florida. Now they say its takes 3 months to reply. What is going on?

  • A A

    You are a shill

  • magan

    I got my child support from my husbands tax return. Can the irs take that for my offset for student loan?

  • magan

    My husband and I split up and I get child support for our kids..however we got back together and the CS has continued but no big deal because usually it goes from the IRS to child support than to me. But…. this year I defaulted on my student loan. I have offset for loan and he has offset for child support.
    We got offset letter from CS but nothing from my student loan. I see where it went to child support and was processed but I haven’t received it. So my question can they take my child support to pay my student loan???

  • kendra faith
  • Brigitta Amaryllis

    I had defaulted student loans that the irs kept 3 years worth of tax returns in order to pay off. i have just gone to credit karma and found that dept of ed says that i still have the full balance left! what could be happening?

  • Van Williams

    Great Cards Get BLANK ATM Programmed Card and cash money directly in any ATM Machine around you. There is no risk of being caught, because the card has been programmed in such a way that it’s not traceable, it also has a technique that makes it impossible for the CCTV to detect you and you can only withdraw a total amount of $5,000.00 USD in a day. Now email us today @ our E-mail address at: [email protected].

  • Shannon

    My paycheck currently has a wage attachment for my student loans. I would like to know if the IRS can take my income tax on top of what is being deducted from y paycheck?