By now millions of taxpayers have already filed their returns and have received their refunds. Still, there are others who are waiting for that check to show up in their account. For some, that wait can be very difficult and even cause a little anxiety. In most cases, there’s no need to worry. Just give it enough time and the IRS should be sending your refund soon. On the other hand, for some people who owe money on their student loans, the news might not be so good.
Several taxpayers are discovering this year that the refund they were expecting to get has instead been allocated for something else: to pay off their student loan debt. While this may come as a surprise to many, the law allows the Department of Education to take your tax refund if your student loan debt is in default. They can do this by using the Treasury Offset Program, which allows federal payments you would have otherwise received, to be taken and used to pay off debts to federal agencies.
However, according to the law, anyone who has a loan in default should first receive a warning that his or her tax refund could be used for paying down that student loan debt. In addition, if you do lose part or all of your refund, you can contest the decision. However, in order to win your protest essentially you have to prove that your student loan is not actually in default.