Today TaxMama hears from Cathy in New Jersey, who is very unhappy. “The IRS shorted my 2007 income tax refund.
The property I owned went into foreclosure and the bank repossessed it. The bank sold the property in June 2007 and I did owe taxes on the property. Can the IRS automatically garnish my 2007 refund without any notice?
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IRS doesn’t garnish without any notice whatsoever. There’s notice out there somewhere – even if not from the IRS.
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Most people don’t realize that IRS handles collections for a variety of government services –
- student loans – did you default?
- Social Security – were you overpaid?
- State income taxes – do you owe them money for prior years?
- Sometimes even for motor vehicle departments, among other things.
- And of course – prior year IRS balances due.
OR – was it a math error or other error on your return?
If you owed property taxes and never paid them – and the bank who repossessed your house never paid them, you would have gotten a bill from the tax assessor’s office. (Though, usually, in a repossession, the bank takes over and pays the property taxes. So I don’t think that’s why your IRS refund was grabbed.)
You should have gotten a letter from IRS explaining why your refund was reduced.
If not – call them and ask – 800-829-1040
And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about garnishment and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com[Note: If you were subscribed to the e-mailed TaxQuips, you’d be getting other exciting news and tips by e-mail, that never appear on the site. Please click on the subscribe link and join us.]
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