The Treasury Offset Program is a centralized offset program, administered by the Financial Management Service's (FMS) Debt Management Services (DMS), to collect delinquent debts owed to federal agencies and states (including past-due child support), in accordance with 26 U.S.C. § 6402(d) (collection of debts owed to federal agencies), 31 U.S.C. § 3720A (reduction of tax refund by amount of the debts), and other applicable laws. FMS disburses federal payments, such as federal tax refunds, for agencies making federal payments (known as "payment agencies"), such as the Internal Revenue Service. "Creditor agencies," such as the Department of Education, submit delinquent debts to FMS for collection and inclusion in TOP and certify that such debts qualify for collection by offset.
Payment agencies prepare and certify payment vouchers to FMS and disbursing officials at other federal agencies that are non-Treasury disbursed (such as the Department of Defense), who then disburse payments. The payment vouchers contain information about the payment including the name and Tax Identification Number (TIN) of the recipient. Before an eligible federal payment is disbursed to a payee, disbursing officials compare the payment information with debtor information, which has been supplied by the creditor agency, in FMS' delinquent debtor database. If the payee's name and TIN match the name and TIN of a debtor, the disbursing official offsets the payment, in whole or in part, to satisfy the debt, to the extent legally allowed. The disbursing official is required to perform such offset pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3716(c).
FMS transmits amounts collected through offset to the appropriate creditor agencies. FMS maintains information about the delinquent debt in the TOP delinquent debtor database and continues to offset eligible federal payments until the creditor agency suspends or terminates debt collection or offset activity for the debt. A creditor agency will suspend collection if the debt is subject to a bankruptcy stay or if other reasons justify suspension. A creditor agency will terminate collection of a debt if it is paid in full, compromised, discharged, or if other reasons justify termination.
If you have questions regarding the offset of your federal tax refund or offset of another U.S. government-issued payment. You can call our Treasury Offset Program (TOP) Call Center to obtain agency contact information during our customer service hours.
Toll Free: (800) 304-3107
TDD number: (866) 297-0517
FMS Form 13 - Authorization for Release of Information
This form is utilized by tax practitioners or anyone requesting information from the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) Call Center on behalf of another individual. This form is to be used in lieu of previous IRS forms allowing disclosure of information to a third party.
Standards for Exemption of Federal Payments into the Treasury Offset Program
This procedure explains the requirements of the law and how federal agencies may request exemptions of their payments from the application of the law. The Attachment lists payments exempt from the Treasury Offset Program and is continually updated to reflect new exemptions.
31 CFR Part 212 - Taxpayer Identifying Number Requirement
SUMMARY: The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA) requires executive agencies to include payee taxpayer identifying numbers (TINs) on certified payment vouchers which are submitted to disbursing officials. The Financial Management Service (FMS), the Department of the Treasury disbursing agency, and other executive branch disbursing
agencies are responsible for examining certified payment vouchers to determine whether such vouchers are in proper form. To ensure that executive branch agencies submit payment certifying vouchers in a form which includes payee TINs, FMS issued a proposed rule on September 2, 1997. The rule, as proposed, would require disbursing officials to
reject payment requests without TINs.
Upon review of the comments received in response to the proposed rule, FMS has determined that a better approach to ensure compliance with the DCIA TIN requirement, in lieu of issuing a final rule, is to require each executive agency to submit a TIN Implementation Report to FMS documenting how the agency is complying with this requirement. Accordingly, FMS is issuing this document withdrawing the September 2, 1997, notice of proposed rulemaking (SEE BELOW). The Policy Statement outlining TIN Implementation Report requirements is being published in the Federal Register concurrently with this document. To view the Policy Statement,
31 CFR Part 212 Taxpayer Identifying Number Requirement (Proposed Rule)
The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA) requires that executive agencies include the taxpayer identifying number (TIN) of each person to whom payment may be made with each payment request submitted to a disbursing official on a certified voucher. This requirement will ensure that TINs of federal payment recipients are available to facilitate debt collection by offset of federal payments under the DCIA, and for vendor income reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as mandated by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC).
Agency Taxpayer Identifying Number Implementation Reports; Policy Statement
SUMMARY: The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 requires that executive agencies include the taxpayer identifying number (TIN) of each payee on certified payment vouchers which are submitted to a disbursing official. The Financial Management Service (FMS), the Department of the Treasury disbursing agency, and other executive branch disbursing agencies are responsible for examining certified payment vouchers to determine whether such vouchers are in the proper form. 31 U.S.C. 3325(a)(2)(A). To ensure that executive branch agencies submit payment certifying vouchers in a form which includes payee TINs, FMS is requiring each executive agency to prepare and submit an agency TIN Implementation Report documenting agency compliance with the TIN requirement. This Policy Statement describes agency TIN Implementation Report requirements.