Who Can Garnish My Federal Tax Refund?

by Alice Stuart
Tax refunds cannot be garnished except for a few, specific types of debts.

Federal income tax refunds are generally exempt from judgments and garnishments; however, there are a few exceptions. These generally apply to debts owed to government agencies, including state governments.

Tax Offsets

The treasury department has a division dedicated to debt collection, called the Treasury Offset Program, or TOP, that is run by the Treasury Department's debt management service. In order for the department to garnish your tax refund, the debt management service must receive a notification from the appropriate department with proof of the debt and the amount you owe, which it will then verify. Once that has been completed, TOP can set the amount required to be deducted from your income tax refund.

Debts Garnished

Eligible debts for tax return garnishment are debts owed to the government. Therefore, debts owed to private individuals or companies are not eligible for tax return offsets. Any government agency can apply to have your tax refund offset to help collect past due amounts. Common debts that are used for offsets include federal -- but not private -- student loans, past due child support, unemployment insurance overpayment, or fees and penalties resulting from those debts.

Spouse's Debts

If you are married and filing a joint refund, and your federal tax refund is garnished to offset a debt belonging exclusively to your spouse, you may be eligible to receive part of the refund. You will have to fill out Form 8379, which can be submitted either with your income tax form or after you have received notification of garnishment of your federal tax refund. Be advised, however, that you can only receive the portion of the federal tax refund for which you individually qualified.

Avoiding Garnishment

If you suspect you may have past due balances for government agencies, the best way to avoid garnishment of your federal tax refund is to contact those agencies prior to filing your tax return to make payment arrangements. In most cases, you do not have to pay the entire debt before your tax return is filed; setting up a payment plan is sufficient to avoid garnishment of your federal tax refund.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by

References

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
Cite this Article | raiffeisen-cards.ru A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

Related pages


verbal contract floridaquickest property salesrespa statementis a certificate of deposit a liquid assetwhat does a candy striper docashing out 401k after leaving jobpinellas county deedstexas adverse possession90 day rolloverrefinance timeshare mortgagesat north carolinacolleges with powerliftingnys professional license verificationmistake on tax return penaltychasecom freedom rewards pointshow to get proof of immunization recordspowerball annuity payment calculatorbuy eurobondsirs 8300motley fools capscheck cashing fees at walmartpre vet scholarshipsderog credittrack western union money order serial numberremoving collection accounts from credit reportlegit grants for single mothersaer interest rate calculatorflorida intangible taxhow to pawn an engagement ringubs gold bar pricewhere can i donate mattressesnevada broker licenseovernight indexed swaphow much does it cost to get papers notarizedwww tlc com extreme couponingstate refund indianahow much can you contribute to a traditional irascottrade joint accountpartial custody child supportjcpenney credit card bill paysavings bonds as gifts for babiesdifference between a bond and a debenturedoes at&t check your creditcalculate total contribution margincalculate tax on 401k withdrawalif i refinance what happens to my escrowcashed out 401k filing for taxeswhen can i withdraw from tsp without penaltyhow do u cash a savings bondwhere ny state tax refundhow to calculate borrowings in cash budgetfannie mae homes for rentsocial security burial benefitsgolds gym cancellationis education reimbursement taxablecan i get a car loan after a repossessionmortgage insurance premium tax deductibledirect transfer vs rolloverwhat is bond payablesouth carolina landlord tenant lawmaximum social security benefit paymentlottery cash vs annuitywalmart credit card approval requirementsgoodwill bicyclesscottrade tutorialdividend payout ratio calculatortcf debit cardus treasury notes and bonds advantagesaha templatehow to wire money from bank of americairs tax levy bank accountcash withdrawal from amex credit cardhow much does it cost for a headstoneshort sale to avoid foreclosurewhat is a levy on bank accounthow to get walmart w2lowes bill pay by phoneophthalmologist costgrants for cars for single mothers