Treasury Offset Program

IRS Definition

Through the Treasury Offset Program, the Bureau of Fiscal Services may reduce your refund (overpayment) and offset it to pay:

  • Past-due child and spousal support;
  • Federal agency non-tax debts;
  • State income tax obligations; or
  • Certain unemployment compensation debts owed to a state (generally, these are debts for (1) compensation paid due to fraud, or (2) contributions owing to a state fund that weren’t paid).

More from H&R Block

If you owe federal tax debt for another tax year, past-due child support, state income tax and/or federal non-tax debt (such as student loans), your refund can be taken (offset) to pay those debts. You will be sent a notice informing you that your refund has been taken to pay another debt. If you are not liable for the debt that is being paid (it is your spouse’s debt but not yours), you can file Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation to get back your portion of the refund that was taken.

Learn how to address an unpaid tax bill.

Get help from an expert

Your local H&R Block tax pro can look into your issue and deal with the IRS for you.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Or call 855-536-6504

Related Information

What To Do If You Can’t Pay Your Taxes

Learn about the different options when you can't pay or still owe money from a past return from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Don’t Pay an IRS Penalty Without Looking Into Penalty Relief

The IRS grants four types of penalty relief, but many taxpayers don't ever ask. Learn how to request penalty abatement from the IRS.

The Top 10 Consequences of Tax Debt

Learn what to do when you can’t pay your taxes – to avoid these 10 consequences of tax debt. Get the facts from the tax experts at H&R Block.

How to Avoid IRS Liens and Levies

Liens and levies are tools the IRS uses to collect back taxes. Learn more about each one -- and how to avoid tax liens and levies by working with the IRS.

Don’t Believe These Myths About the IRS Offer in Compromise

Learn about the IRS option to "settle" tax debt, called the offer in compromise. Get the facts from the tax experts at H&R Block.