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Tax Refund Offset

What is Federal Tax Refund Offset?
The Federal Tax Refund Offset Program collects past due payments of child support from the tax refunds of parents who have been ordered to pay child support. The program is a cooperative effort among the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), and state Child Support Services (CSS) agencies.

Will Child Support intercept my Federal Tax Refund if I am paying on my case?
Yes, Federal Law requires that a tax refund be intercepted anytime there are arrears due on a case of $150 or more.

Will Child Support intercept my State Revenue Tax Refund if I am paying on my case?
Yes, Federal and State Law require that a tax refund be intercepted anytime there are arrears due on a case.

How do I get the offset stopped?
The only way to stop the offset is to pay off your arrears balance in full. Contact your county Child Support Service Office for further details.

My spouse made some of the money that was intercepted for my child support debt. Why is his or her share being taken?
Your spouse may be entitled to get back the portion of the refund that can be shown as belonging to him or her. In the case of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) refund, the injured party must file IRS Form 8379, Injured Spouse Claim. Call (800) 829-3676 to get this form or you can also download IRS Form 8379 from the IRS website.

My spouse and I filed a joint State return and sent in an injured spouse form with it, but our entire refund was taken for my debt.

Injured spouse claims involving joint returns need to be filed separately from the return, the following documentation must be included:

  • The letter sent to you advising of the intercept;
  • All W-2, W-2G, or any 1099 statements received by both parties
  • A complete copy of the federal tax return, including all schedules; and
  • IRS form 8379 for injured spouse claims, if one was filed

DO NOT attach an Injured Spouse claim to your Individual Colorado State Income Tax Return.

It will not be reviewed unless it is mailed separately to:


Colorado Department of Revenue

  • Injured Spouse Desk RM. 240
  • PO Box 17087
  • Denver CO 80217-00897

You may contact DOR's Customer Service Department at (303) 238-7378 to see if they have received the information.

I paid off my arrears but my refunds were still taken. What’s going on?

It may be related to the time of the year when you paid off your child support debt compared to when your refund was taken. Updates to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through the Federal Child Support Office (OCSE) do not occur between mid-November and mid-December. If you paid off your child support debt during that period of time the IRS may not have known that fact, and therefore, may have taken your refund. There is also the typical 3-5 business day delay that occurs between the time Colorado Child Support Services records your payment against your child support debt and the time the IRS updates its system.


Both my federal and state refunds were taken and the Internal Revenue Service paid off my actual balance. Why didn’t the Colorado Dept. of Revenue get told not to take my refund?
Child Support Services is NOT notified in advance of an offset for your case. You are the first to be notified. From the time you receive your letter from the Department of Revenue, advising you of the offset, the payment to Child Support Service may take up to 2 weeks.
From the time you receive your letter from the Department of Treasury (IRS), advising you of the offset, the payment to Child Support Services may take from 4-6 weeks.

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Updated May 2016

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