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Tax Offset

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have advised state child support agencies of a significant increase in the number of fraudulent income tax filings resulting in fraudulent tax refunds. The State of West Virginia Bureau for Child Support Enforcement Agency is experiencing some volume of fraudulent tax filings.


Tax refunds can be directed to the state child support agencies for past-due child support. This redirection of a tax refund is referred to as an offset. The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement has authorized state child support agencies to hold tax refund offsets until the IRS completes their investigations.


The Internal Revenue Service is identifying and investigating tax refunds that may have resulted from fraudulent tax filings. The fraudulent filings may be due to personal identity theft. Visit the IRS website for more information about identity theft.


We are reviewing all tax refund offsets received from the IRS and placing holds on refunds that may be based on fraudulent tax filings. If the tax refund offset is not based on a fraudulent filing, the hold is released and the payment is disbursed.  We know that holding a tax refund offset can be an inconvenience to customers expecting to receive the offset or expecting to be credited for a child support payment.You can help us identify legitimate tax refund offsets so these payments can be released.


If you are the parent ordered to pay support and:

  • You received a notice from the "Treasury Department" that your refund was offset for past-due child support and
  • The amount of the offset has not been credited to your past-due child support obligation

Send the WV BCSE an e-mail with specific information including the TOP Trace ID ## from your Treasury Department notice. We will research the offset and respond to you by e-mail within 7-10 business days. If you do not have your Treasury Department offset notice and the amount of the offset has not been credited to your past-due child support obligation, you can bring your tax return to a local child support office.


Every tax refund offset that is held is not due to a possible fraudulent tax filing.

  • A 180-day hold may be placed on the offset if it is the result of a joint tax return. This time period gives the spouse who does not have a past-due support obligation time to file documentation with the IRS to separate the refund so we only keep what is owed by the other spouse.