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New Member

Received my tax refund but it was about $500 short? who do I talk to about that?

4 Replies
New Member

Received my tax refund but it was about $500 short? who do I talk to about that?

Your refund may be different if:

  • You used our Refund Processing Services to pay for your TurboTax fees.
  • Your refund was reduced by the government to correct a calculation error or through a refund offset.
    • All or part of a taxpayers refund may have been used (offset) to pay off past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or other federal nontax debts, such as student loans. Taxpayers may also see a change in their refund amount because the IRS made a change to their tax return. 
    • Taxpayers will receive a notice explaining the refund offset.  The notice will reflect the original refund amount, your offset amount, the agency receiving the payment, and the address and telephone number of the agency. The IRS Where’s My Refund? will also reflect the reasons for the refund offset when it relates to a change in your tax return.
    • More information see IRS Tax Topic:  Tax Topic 203.

New Member

Received my tax refund but it was about $500 short? who do I talk to about that?

I received my tax refund and it was 824.00 short. who do I talk to.
Level 15

Received my tax refund but it was about $500 short? who do I talk to about that?



Did you enter  ALL of the stimulus money that you had already received correctly in the recovery rebate credit section when you prepared your 2020 return?  The IRS cross checks and if you did not enter all of the money you received, they recalculate your refund.




There can be a number of reasons why your refund was less than the amount you expected. First of all, look carefully at your actual tax returns.  There is sometimes confusion about the amount of refund to expect when users misinterpret the “summary” they saw in TurboTax. The amount of your refund is on your tax return.  Federal refund is on line 34 on Form 1040  State tax forms are all different so we cannot tell you what line to look at on your state form.  BUT it is important to actually LOOK at your tax return forms yourself and see the amounts of your tax refunds and/or tax due.  A lot of confusion would be avoided by doing that.


TurboTax does not receive feedback from the IRS regarding money that was offset from your refund.  If you owed back taxes, child support, student loan debt, etc. you will receive a letter of explanation from the IRS in several weeks.  The WMR site will contain a message regarding your offset.  It is also possible that the IRS caught a mistake you made and reduced your refund. 


A possible reason for the reduction could be that the recovery rebate credit was completed incorrectly and you may have entered the amount of stimulus already received wrong, which could have reduced the refund you thought you were seeing.



 It is also possible that your state reduced your refund for debts owed in your state—if the state reduced your state refund you will receive a letter from the state.

 IRS Treasury Offset Program Call Center at 1-800-304-3107


Be aware also that your Federal refund and state refund do NOT come together.  Federal and state tax returns are processed by two completely separate entities.  There is no rule as to which one will come first,


Did you choose to have TT fees deducted from your Federal refund?  (Remember that if you did that, you also agreed to an extra refund processing fee of $39.99)

How can I see my TurboTax  fees?


Reduced Refund



 NOTE: You can contact the IRS Treasury Offset Program Call Center at 1-800-304-3107 to ask if they have an offset for you on file. TurboTax would not have that information.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Expert Alumni

Received my tax refund but it was about $500 short? who do I talk to about that?



Your tax refund that you received was less than you were expecting.  The reasons could be:

  • The IRS changed and / or corrected your tax return and your refund was reduced.  The IRS will notify you of their changes / corrections in writing.  One such notice is the CP12 Notice.
  • The tax refund was offset for debts that the IRS believes that you owe.  See this IRS FAQ.

Calls about individual 1040 tax returns should be addressed to 800-829-1040.  Telephone lines are open from 7 am to 7 pm local time.


Other IRS telephone numbers are available here.

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