You anticipated a large refund on your taxes to pay off some bills and put some money away in a rainy-day fund. Unfortunately, the money never showed up. What happened?
Your refund may have gone toward an unpaid bill selected by the government – your unpaid student loan.
Your federal student loan is considered to be in default if you haven’t made a payment in 270 days. When that happens, the federal government has the right to claim your tax refund as payment against the debt, in a process known as an administrative offset. In essence, the government isn’t giving any tax refunds back to you if you aren’t attempting to repay what you already owe the government.
If you’ve lost a tax refund to an offset, you aren’t alone. Student loan default rates are near 11%, giving the government plenty of offset targets. In fiscal 2017, the Treasury Department executed $2.6 billion in tax refund offsets on approximately 1.3 million