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What to do if your tax refund is lower than expected

If you owe money to a federal or state agency, the federal government may use part or all of your federal tax refund to repay the debt. This is called a tax refund offset.

If your tax refund is lower than you calculated, it may be due to a tax refund offset for an unpaid debt such as child support.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the Treasury Offset Program (TOP), including:

  • Why was my tax refund reduced?
  • How do I find out which federal or state agency requested the offset?
  • How do I correct an offset that was made in error?

LAST UPDATED: January 5, 2024


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