I do not know the exact reason that the IRS did not refund the amount that you were expecting to receive, but one common reason that could have resulted in your refund being lower than you expected, is that your refund was reduced by the government, either to correct a calculation error or through a refund offset. 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 our customer service hours.
Have Questions about an Offset?
- Toll Free: 800-304-3107
- TDD number: 866-297-0517
If you suspect your refund, or part of your refund, is being held, sometimes people make progress contacting their local IRS center or a Taxpayer Advocate.
Please see the link below to find your local Taxpayer Assistance Center.
The link below will offer your more guidance on Taxpayer Advocates.
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 (kept some for a debt they feel you owe).
Please see the following TurboTax FAQ and click your state to open their contact page.