Under federal law, the Georgia Department of Revenue can take your federal income tax refunds and reduce or pay income tax debt you owe to the State. To take your federal income tax refund, the Department files an offset claim with the United States Department of the Treasury. The Department can do this when all of the following are true:
- It has been more than 180 days, but less than 10 years, since the assessment date (the date your debt was officially considered due).
- The Department sent a “notice of intent to offset” letter 60 days before filing the offset claim. This letter is sent by certified mail to your last known address.
- You’re not in bankruptcy.
If the federal government owes you money that is eligible for offset, they will send it to the Department. When that happens, they will send you a “notice of payment offset” letter. The Department will apply the payment to your state income tax debt. This can take up to several weeks. Please note that the Department cannot take your Social Security income to offset your state income tax debt.