Tax Tip of the Day: How Do I… Receive My Tax Refund That the IRS Used to Offset My Spouse’s Debt

The Treasury Department is authorized to offset a taxpayer’s tax refund to satisfy certain debts. A spouse who believes that his or her portion of the refund should not be used to offset the debt that the other spouse owes may request a refund from the IRS.


If an individual owes money to the federal government because of a delinquent debt, the Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service (FMS) can offset that individual’s tax refund (and certain other federal payments) to satisfy the debt. The debtor will be notified in advance of the offset.

A taxpayer’s refund may be reduced by FMS and offset to pay:

*   Past-due child support

*   Federal agency non-tax debts

*   State income tax obligations, or

*   Certain unemployment compensation debts owed a state.

FMS advises taxpayers by written notice of an offset. FMS has explained that the notice will reflect the original refund amount, the taxpayer’s 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. Form 8379 If a taxpayer filed a joint return and is not responsible for the debt of his or her spouse, the taxpayer may request his or her portion of the refund by filing Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, with the IRS. Form 8379 may be filed with the original return or by itself after the taxpayer is aware of the offset.

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About Berrios & Associates, Inc.

Since 1999, Berrios & Associates, Inc. has been providing a distinctive mixture of leadership-knowledge, and customer service satisfying client needs in advisory, tax, and outsourcing. Serving a diverse client base from individuals and sole proprietors to private corporations with nationwide and international locations. In the domain of accounting firms, Berrios & Associates has engraved a distinctive business based on diverse solutions through the interpersonal relationship of corporate and personal tax, corporate back office support, and business growth advisory. The firm directs clients through their everyday operations to ensure they have the right business model in place to meet their business goals.


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