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TREASURY OFFSET PROGRAM (TOP)

When is a debt sent to the Treasury Offset Program?
How does the Treasury Offset Program work?
What kinds of federal payments can be reduced?
How can I avoid having my debt offset for payment?
Whom should I contact regarding my debt?
What does the TOP Call Center do?
How does a debtor know that he/she is in the Treasury Offset Program delinquent debtor database?
How do I dispute a debt being sent to the Treasury Offset Program?
How will I know if my federal payment was intercepted to pay a state debt?
My spouse and I filed a joint federal tax return and our refund was intercepted for a debt that my spouse owes. How can I get my portion of the refund back?
What if I don't give you permission to take my federal payment?


When is a debt sent to the Treasury Offset Program? In general, when your debt is more than 90 days delinquent. KDOL must determine that your debt is valid and collection is legally enforceable. KDOL will send you a Notice of Intent to Offset letter about your debt and provide you with the opportunity to resolve or dispute your debt within 60 days. After 60 days, your debt will be submitted to the TOP for collection.

KDOL will respond to questions and inquiries regarding your debt. If you have not received a notice about your debt, your debt may not be eligible for federal offset.

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How does the Treasury Offset Program work?

  • If you owe a delinquent debt to a Government agency or a state and that agency identifies it is eligible for offset, you are sent a Notice of Intent to Offset letter.
  • After the notice is sent, you have 60 days to: repay the debt, agree to a repayment plan, request a review or notify the agency of bankruptcy.
  • After 60 days if the debt is still delinquent, the agency sends information about your debt to the TOP database.
  • Before you receive a federal payment such as a tax refund, the database is searched to see if you owe a delinquent debt.
  • If your debt is in the database, your federal payment will be reduced or withheld to pay your debt.
  • When your payment is taken, a letter will be sent to you regarding the action.

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What kinds of federal payments can be reduced?
Depending upon the type of debt you owe, the following federal payments may be eligible for offset or levy:

  • Tax refunds
  • Federal wages, including military pay
  • Federal retirement, including military retirement pay
  • Contractor/vendor payments
  • Travel advances and reimbursements
  • Certain federal benefit payments, such as Social Security (other than Supplemental Security Income), Railroad Retirement (other than tier 2) and Black Lung (part B benefits)
  • Other federal payments that are not expressly exempted from offset

Federal law limits the amount that may be withheld from some types of federal payments.

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How can I avoid having my debt offset for payment?
Prior to submitting debts to the TOP, KDOL is required to notify each debtor that it intends to refer the debt for federal offset. If you receive this notice, you have 60 days to do one of the following before the debt is sent for offset:

  1. Pay your debt in full. Payment may be mailed to: Kansas Department of Labor, Benefit Payment Control Unit, 401 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS 66603-3182. Include your Social Security number on your payment. If paying with a credit card (MC, Discover or American Express) call 800-272-9829 (jurisdiction code: 2611) or visit http://www.officialpayments.com.
  2. Provide proof of payment. If you believe that all or part of this debt has already been paid, you must send documentation to support your claim to the above address or FAX to: 785-291-3425.
  3. Provide bankruptcy information. KDOL will not submit your debt to TOP if you are protected by bankruptcy provisions. You must notify KDOL by sending evidence concerning your bankruptcy to the above address. This evidence should include the case number, filing date and the name of the court in which you filed your bankruptcy claim.

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Whom should I contact regarding my debt?

Kansas Department of Labor
Asset Recovery
785-296-3609

If your debt has been paid in full, or if you do not owe the debt for other reasons, KDOL is responsible for instructing Treasury to stop the offset process. KDOL is also responsible for returning to you any part of your payment that should not have been reduced.

To verify the amount of the offset, call:
Treasury Offset Program Call Center
800-304-3107

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What does the TOP Call Center do?
The FMS Treasury Offset Program staff is available to help you understand the process, including what you need to do next. They cannot arrange for you to pay off your debt, tell you how much you owe or refund your money. They can tell you whom to call. They will not tell anyone but you about your debts and the amount that was offset.

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How does a debtor know that he/she is in the Treasury Offset Program delinquent debtor database?
Before KDOL refers a debt to the Treasury Offset Program, it will send the debtor all due process notices concerning the debt. These notices include: written notification of the nature and amount of the debt, the intention of the agency to collect the debt through administrative offset and an explanation of rights (inspection, copying, review and repayment opportunities). KDOL has therefore informed the delinquent debtor of the potential referral of the debt to the TOP. Treasury will inform the debtor when an offset is taken. You are also entitled at any time to inquire in writing whether you are in the delinquent debtor database maintained by the U.S. Treasury, which will answer you in writing.

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How do I dispute a debt being sent to the Treasury Offset Program?
If you have evidence to show that the debt is not past due, not legally enforceable or not the result of unreported earnings when claiming benefits, you may submit a written objection to the referral of your debt for offset. The objection must state the grounds upon which you are objecting your debt's referral and may include any available evidence, which may include sworn affidavits, to support the grounds.

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How will I know if my federal payment was intercepted to pay a state debt?
After a federal offset occurs, the Financial Management Service (FMS) will notify you that the offset has occurred. FMS will provide information regarding the amount and date of the offset, the state to which the offset was paid and a contact in the state that can handle your concerns or questions regarding the debt that resulted in the refund offset.

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My spouse and I filed a joint federal tax return and our refund was intercepted for a debt that my spouse owes. How can I get my portion of the refund back?
You must complete federal Form 8379 to get your share of the refund. To obtain the form, call the IRS at 800-829-3676 or you can download the form from the IRS website.

If you have questions about the form or need help completing it, call your local IRS office or call 800-829-1040. The completed Form 8379 should be mailed to the IRS center where you sent your original tax return.

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What if I don't give you permission to take my federal payment?
State and federal laws authorize the TOP Program. KDOL is not required to secure your permission prior to submitting your unpaid liability to TOP.

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Disclaimer: The information listed here does not have the effect of law or regulations, but may help answer questions you have about your claim. If you have questions or a problem with your claim that is not covered on this site, please contact the Unemployment Contact Center.