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Home > Unemployment Services > Frequently Asked Questions Related to Federal and State Income Tax Refund Intercepts

Frequently Asked Questions Related to
Federal and State Income Tax Refund Intercepts


1. Under what authority can DWS take my tax refunds?

Under state law DWS has been intercepting state income tax refunds and applying them to overpayments of UI Benefits since 2003.

In 2009 Congress and the President passed & signed a bill authorizing state workforce agencies to intercept federal income tax refunds to collect these overpayments using a program called Treasury Offset Program (TOP).

The US Department of Labor urges state workforce agencies to use TOP to speed up the collection of these improper payments.

2. Has DWS gotten my money yet?

DF&A and the IRS will notify you when they are sending DWS a tax intercept, but DWS will not get the money until sometime later:

The IRS delay is about 3 weeks.
The DF&A delay is from 3 to 6 weeks, or longer if you filed a joint return.

3. Why did DWS intercept more money than my balance?

DWS submitted your debt to both TOP & DF&A late last year, as allowed by law. At the time DWS did not know if you would receive any refund or how much it would be.

Any money we receive in excess of what it takes to pay off your debt will be refunded to you.

4. If DWS did intercept more than my balance owed, when will I get my refund?

Once we receive your tax intercept, we post it to our system, balance the transaction, and send a request for your refund to the accounting unit to send you a check.

Due to the high volume of payments received this process can take up to 3 weeks after we receive your refund before a check is mailed to you and as long as 9 weeks after the taxing authority notifies you of the tax intercept. We apologize for this delay.

5. At which address will DWS mail my refund to me?

DWS will mail any refund to which you are entitled to the last known address for you that we have in our system.

If you have moved since you last claimed benefits, or are unsure of which address DWS currently has for you, please contact your local office to insure the DWS records are up-to-date.

Failure to notify DWS of your current address will significantly hamper delivery of your refund and/or future notices.

6. Did DWS send notification of this process to me?

As required by law, DWS mailed letters to you in October and November of last year to the address we have on record for you notifying you DWS was going to submit your debt to DF&A and TOP. These letters notified you of your right to request a review of your account for the TOP intercept or a hearing for the DF&A intercept.

7. What happens if I am in bankruptcy?

Any money inadvertently taken on bankrupt accounts will be refunded to you as soon as possible. DWS apologizes that we intercepted this refund in error.


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