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Christopher Phelps
Christopher Phelps, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2710
Experience:  CPA, CFP, PFS, Tax Practitioner 21 Years, Member AICPA/CSCPA Tax/Financial Planning Committee Member
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The IRS intercepted my refund due to a student loan I did ...

Customer Question

The IRS intercepted my refund due to a student loan I did not know I had outstanding. I was not notified by the student loan agency prior to tax time so that I would have the opportunity to make payment arrangements or verify the debt. Is there anything I can do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Christopher Phelps replied 7 years ago.

There is nothing you can do to get the refund back assuming you actually owe the money. However, you will need to contact the student loan note holder and make payment arrangements. Until you pay the loan off they will continue to intercept your refunds.

Because it is impossible for me to identify and consider ALL the relevant facts, this advice is not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties, and cannot be used for that purpose.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I was under the impression there are certain types of tax forms in which I could request the return since I was not notified of the debt, the debt was not verified and it creates a financial hardship. I believe the form was a "911". Also, I believed there were forms through the tax advocacy program.
Expert:  Christopher Phelps replied 7 years ago.

There is no such form. The IRS does not accept requests to intercept refunds until the liability is verified. The IRS specifically states that you are required to contact the agency listed on the offset notice you received if you have a dispute about the debt.

If you filed a joint return with a spouse, he/she may be entitled to a portion of any refund claimed on your tax return.

If you file a joint return, you will be deemed jointly liable for any tax due for that year. Also, any refunds you may be due currently on a jointly filed return will likely be withheld to pay any tax deficiency you or your spouse have accrued in prior years. However, depending on the facts and circumstances you may be able to claim injured spouse relief for that year.

If you filed a joint return and you're not responsible for the debt, but you are entitled to a portion of the refund because you reported income, payments, or credits on the return, you may request your portion of the refund by filing Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. Attach Form 8379 to your original Form 1040 or file it by itself after you are notified of an offset. If you file a Form 8379 with your return, write "INJURED SPOUSE" at the top left corner of the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ. Because the IRS will process your allocation request before an offset occurs, filing Form 8379 with your original return may take 11 to 14 weeks from the date of filing to process your return.

If you are filing Form 8379 by itself, it must show both spouses' social security numbers in the same order as they appeared on your income tax return. You, the "injured" spouse, must sign the form. Follow the instructions on Form 8379 carefully and be sure to attach the required forms to avoid delays. Do not attach the previously filed Form 1040 to the Form 8379. Send Form 8379 to the Service Center where you filed your original return. Allow at least 8 weeks for IRS to process your allocation request. The IRS will compute the injured spouse's share of the joint return for you. If you lived in a community property state during the tax year, they will divide the joint refund based upon state law.

You can avoid the problem altogether by filing as married filing separate claiming your own income and deductions.

Because it is impossible for me to identify and consider ALL the relevant facts, this advice is not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties, and cannot be used for that purpose.

 

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