Treasury Refund Offset - FAQ

  • Why did you take my federal tax refund from the IRS?

    Under federal law, the Georgia Department of Revenue can take your federal income tax refund to reduce or pay income tax debt you owe to the state of Georgia.

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  • Why did you offset an additional $23.81 from my federal refund from the IRS?

    The Treasury Offset Program (TOP), operated by the Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, is a fully automated, centralized offset program that intercepts federal and state payments to collect delinquent debts owed to federal and state agencies. The Fiscal Service is authorized to charge states and creditor agencies a $23.81 fee for administrative costs associated with offsets taken.  In turn, the Department of Revenue seeks reimbursement from you for this fee.

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  • Why did the Georgia Department of Revenue take my federal income tax refund if I had already set up an installment payment agreement to pay my state income tax debt?

    Georgia law permits the Department of Revenue to offset both state and federal refunds to pay a state income tax liability even if you have an active installment payment agreement with us.

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  • Why did you take or offset my federal income tax refund when I had already paid my state income tax liability?

    This can happen when the federal government sends us your federal income tax refund before our records show your debt has been paid. We will issue you a refund if the federal amount received by us is greater than the amount you owed us.

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  • Why did I receive a certified letter about a federal refund offset?

    Federal law requires the Georgia Department of Revenue send an “Intent to Offset Notice” to you by certified mail before we request the federal government to give us your federal income tax refund to pay your state income tax liability.

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  • Can my federal income tax refund be offset if my wages are being garnished by the Department of Revenue?

    Georgia law permits the Department of Revenue to offset both state and federal refunds to pay a state income tax liability even if we are garnishing your wages.

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  • My spouse and I filed a joint federal income tax return, and my spouse owes debt for which I am not responsible. How can I stop my portion of our federal refund from being offset to pay my spouse’s debt?

    You must apply for injured spouse allocation through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For information on how to apply, see "Injured Spouse Allocation" on the IRS website.

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