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  • What is the legal authority to take my federal tax refund and apply it to my state debt?

What is the legal authority to take my federal tax refund and apply it to my state debt?

Section 6402(e) of the United States Tax Code allows federal tax refunds to be offset to collect delinquent state income tax obligations. 31 U.S.C. § 3720A and other laws authorizes the Alabama Department of Revenue to enter into agreements with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service -Debt Management to intercept or offset federal tax refunds and federal payments for State of Alabama income tax debts.

Section 6402(e) of the United States Tax Code allows federal tax refunds to be offset to collect delinquent state income tax obligations. 31 U.S.C. § 3720A and other laws authorizes the Alabama Department of Revenue to enter into agreements with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service -Debt Management to intercept or offset federal tax refunds and federal payments for State of Alabama income tax debts.

Related FAQs in Federal Refund Offset - TOP, Individual Income Tax

No. The Alabama Department of Revenue does not charge a fee. However, the U.S. Department of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service-Debt Management charges a fee ($22.58) to offset federal tax refunds to pay tax debts. Bureau of Fiscal Service-Debt Management will deduct that fee before sending the funds to the Alabama Department of Revenue.

Prior to submitting debts to the U.S. Department of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service-Debt Management for inclusion in TOP, the Alabama Department of Revenue is required to notify each debtor that it intends to refer the debt for federal offset. If you received the LOI (Letter of Intent) notice, you have 60 days to do one of the following:

Pay your debt in full. A payment coupon is attached to the bottom of each notice for your convenience, or you can go to https://myalabamataxes.alabama.gov/, click on the “Pay a bill I received” link, to make a payment.
Provide proof of payment. If you believe that all or part of this debt has already been paid, fax your documentation to 334-353-2282.

It may take several weeks for the funds offset from your Federal tax refund to be applied to your State of Alabama debt.

The U.S. Department of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service-Debt Management will notify you in writing that an offset has occurred. TOP will provide information regarding the amount and date of the offset, the state to which the offset was paid, and a phone number to call where individuals may address your concerns and questions regarding the debt associated with the offset. The telephone number (334-353-0775) on the letter is to the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Examiner line.

Yes. The Alabama Department of Revenue will continue to offset federal income tax refunds and state refunds even though you are meeting your payment arrangements. Alabama statute allows for the offset of an Income Tax refund until the account is paid in full even if you are on an approved Payment Plan. Your regular monthly payment must still be made to avoid defaulting on your Payment Plan which could lead to enforcement action.