A possible reason that your refund was lower than you expected, is that your refund was reduced by the government, either to correct a calculation error or through a refund offset. Or, for other possibilities, please see Why is my federal refund less than I expected?
A refund offset is when an IRS refund is reduced or intercepted to pay off delinquent debt, such as past-due child support, outstanding student loans, or unpaid state income tax.
You will receive a notice in the mail if an offset occurs. The notice will include the original tax refund amount and your offset amount. It will also include the agency receiving the offset payment and that agency’s contact information.
If you believe you do not owe the debt or you want to dispute the amount taken from your refund, you should contact the agency that received the offset amount.
If you have questions regarding the offset of your federal tax refund or offset of another U.S. government-issued payment, you can call the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) Call Center to obtain agency contact information during their customer service hours.
- Toll Free: 800-304-3107
- TDD number: 866-297-0517
If you suspect your refund is being held, sometimes people make progress contacting their local IRS center or a Taxpayer Advocate.
Please see this link to find your local Taxpayer Assistance Center: https://apps.irs.gov/app/officeLocator/index.jsp
This link will offer your more guidance on Taxpayer Advocates: https://www.irs.gov/Advocate
If some of the refund that you were expecting was from your state tax refund, you may wish to contact your State Department of Revenue to determine if they have offset your refund. Click here to visit your state's Department of Revenue site.