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Indiana Department of Workforce Development

Indiana Department of Workforce Development

DWD > Unemployment for Individuals > Overpayment FAQ > Treasury Offset Program Treasury Offset Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Treasury Offset Program (TOP)?
How does the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) work?
What is an “offset”?
How can I avoid the offset?
How will I know if my federal income tax refund was used to offset a debt?
Why do I owe this debt?
Whom should I contact regarding the offset?
What does the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) Call Center do?
What should I do if I don’t think the debt can be collected?
Can I appeal the amount owed?
Does DWD need my permission to take my federal income tax refund?
What should I do if I filed for bankruptcy?

What should I do if I believe that I already paid off my debt?
Will there be any fees associated with the offset?
What if I have a repayment agreement with DWD?
I paid DWD in full, but my federal refund was still offset. What should I do?
Will DWD notify the Bureau of Fiscal Services (BFS) of any changes to my balance for payments I make to DWD?
How soon will the federal refund that was offset show on my account?
My spouse and I filed a joint federal tax return and our refund was offset for a debt that my spouse owes.  How can I get my portion of the federal refund back?

What is the Treasury Offset Program (TOP)?

The Treasury Offset Program (TOP) is a debt collection program administered by the Bureau of Fiscal Services (BFS), which is a division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  Section 303(m) of the Social Security Act requires DWD to send eligible unemployment compensation debts to TOP for offset of the debtor’s federal income tax refund.  A debtor whose unemployment compensation debt is eligible for collection through TOP will receive a Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund letter notifying the debtor of DWD’s intent to intercept the debtor’s federal income tax refund to satisfy an unemployment compensation debt owing to DWD.  The letter provides the debtor an opportunity to resolve or dispute the debt within 60 days.

If you have overpayments due to fraud or failure to correctly report earnings, your debt will be referred to TOP.  

How does TOP work?

If you owe a debt to DWD and that debt is eligible for collection through the Treasury Offset Program (TOP), DWD will send you a Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund letter.  You have 60 days from the date on that letter to either (1) repay the debt in full or (2) submit evidence to DWD proving that you have already paid your debt or that your debt is part of a bankruptcy proceeding.

If any part of your debt, including accruing interest, is still eligible for collection through TOP after the 60-day period expires, DWD will send your debt to the TOP database for collection.  Before you receive a federal income tax refund, the Bureau of Fiscal Services, (BFS), will review the TOP database to see if you owe a debt.  If your debt is in the database, all or a portion of your federal income tax refund will be held and sent to DWD to satisfy all or a portion of your debt.  When this happens, BFS will send you a letter notifying you of the amount of the offset, the agency where the offset was sent, and the contact information for that agency.

Your debt, including accruing interest, will remain in the TOP database and will continue to be offset by federal income tax refund payments until your debt to DWD is paid in full.

What is an "offset"?

An offset is when the federal income tax refund you would have received is used to pay all or a portion of a debt owing to a federal or state agency. If the full amount owed is not collected in one year, future offsets may be done to satisfy your debt.

How can I avoid the offset?

To avoid the offset, you must pay the debt in full, including any accruing interest.  You may make a payment by any of the following methods:

Mail your payment to:
Attn: UI Trust Fund Accounting
Indiana Department of Workforce Development
10 N. Senate Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Checks or money orders must be made out to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.  Include your account number on your payment. 

You may make a payment via phone at 1-888-877-0450 or online at www.payingov.com/DWD

You will be held responsible for all fees and actions arising out of unauthorized access or use with regard to payments remitted to DWD, including, but not limited to, payments returned for insufficient funds, overdrafts, stop payments, and unauthorized payments. 

For balance inquiries, contact the DWD Benefit Payment Control Unit at 1-800-262-6949.

How will I know if my federal income tax refund was used to offset a debt?

When your federal income tax refund is intercepted to offset a debt, the Bureau of Fiscal Services, (BFS), will send you a letter notifying you of the amount of the offset, the agency where the offset was sent, and the contact information for that agency.

Why do I owe this debt?

Any person who has received unemployment compensation benefits to which he is not entitled is liable to repay those benefits.  DWD is authorized to intercept state income tax refunds, lottery winnings, and federal income tax refunds to offset unemployment compensation debts. 

Whom should I contact regarding the offset?

If you have questions about the Treasury Offset Program, (TOP) offsets, or a notice you received from the Bureau of Fiscal Services, (BFS), you may contact the Treasury Offset Program Call Center at 1-800-304-3107.  Many state and federal agencies offset debts through TOP.  The notice you receive from the Bureau of Fiscal Services, (BFS) will list the name of the agency or agencies that requested offsets from your federal income tax refund, along with contact information for those agencies. 

For questions about a debt that you owe to DWD, contact the Benefit Payment Control Unit at 1-800-262-6949. 

What does the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) Call Center do?

The Bureau of Fiscal Services, (BFS), Treasury Offset Program, (TOP) staff is available to help you understand the offset 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. 

What should I do if I don't think the debt can be collected?

Within 60 days of the date on the Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund letter, you may provide proof to DWD that your debt is subject to a bankruptcy proceeding or that you have already paid all or part of your debt. 

If you believe that you have already paid all or part of your debt, you must send proof of payment to the DWD Benefit Payment Control Unit at 10 N. Senate Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46204.  Proof of payment includes the following:

(1) a copy of the front and back of your payment, if payment was made by check;

(2) the date of transaction and confirmation number, if payment was made by OPC/value payment; or

(3) a copy of money order or certified check receipt showing money order number, date purchased, and amount of money order, if  payment was made by money order or certified check.

If you have declared bankruptcy, immediately contact the Benefit Payment Control Unit at 1-800-262-6949 or provide proof that your debt is subject to a bankruptcy proceeding to DWD within 60 days of receiving the Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund letter.  DWD will accept, as proof of a bankruptcy, bankruptcy court documents showing the case number, filing date, name of the court in which you filed your bankruptcy, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development as a creditor. 

Remember that you must provide this proof or contact the DWD Benefit Payment Control Unit within 60 days of the date on the Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund if you feel that this debt cannot be collected.

Can I appeal the amount owed?

When your debt was originally established, you were provided with an opportunity to appeal the original determination.  The time to file an appeal has expired.  The Treasury Offset Program, (TOP), is a collection process and is not appealable under Indiana law. 

Does DWD need any permission to take my federal income tax refund?

No.  Federal law requires DWD to send eligible unemployment compensation debts to the Treasury Offset Program, (TOP) for collection and authorizes collections to proceed without your approval.

What should I do if I filed for bankruptcy?

If you have declared bankruptcy, immediately contact the Benefit Payment Control Unit at 1-800-262-6949 or provide proof that your debt is subject to a bankruptcy proceeding to DWD within 60 days of receiving the Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund letter.  DWD will accept, as proof of a bankruptcy, bankruptcy court documents showing the case number, filing date, name of the court in which you filed your bankruptcy, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development as a creditor.  You may send this proof to DWD by the following methods:

(1) mail or hand deliver a copy of the Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund, along with your documents, to Attn: Benefit Payment Control Unit, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, 10 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46204 

(2) fax a copy of the Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund, along with   your documents, to BPC/Intercept at (317) 234-2932

What should I do if I believe that I already paid off my debt?

If you believe that you have already paid all or part of your debt, you must send proof of payment to the DWD Benefit Payment Control Unit at 10 N. Senate Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46204.  Proof of payment includes the following:

(1) a copy of the front and back of your payment, if payment was made by check;

(2) the date of transaction and confirmation number, if payment was made by OPC/value payment; or

(3) a copy of money order or certified check receipt showing money order number, date purchased, and amount of money order, if payment was made by money order or certified check.

You may send this proof to DWD by the following methods:

(1) mail or hand deliver a copy of the Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund, along with your documents, to Attn: Benefit Payment Control Unit, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, 10 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46204

(2) fax a copy of the Notice of Intent to Offset Federal Income Tax Refund, along with   your documents, to BPC/Intercept at (317) 234-2932

For balance inquiries, contact the DWD Benefit Payment Control Unit at 1-800-262-6949.

Will there be any fees associated with the offset?

Yes, the Bureau of Fiscal Services, (BFS), will collect an administrative fee for every offset from your federal income tax refund.  This fee is collected from your refund before any debts owing to DWD are satisfied.  DWD does not collect this fee.  For example, if the administrative fee is $20, your debt to DWD is $100, and your tax refund is $120, BFS will take $20 from your tax refund to satisfy the administrative fee and will send the remaining $100 to DWD to satisfy your debt.  If your debt to DWD is $1,000 and your tax refund is only $120, BFS will take $20 from your tax refund to satisfy the administrative fee, will send the remaining $100 to DWD, and your debt will remain in the TOP database until the remaining $900 of your debt is paid.

What if I have a repayment agreement with DWD?

If you have a repayment agreement with DWD and you have not received a broken agreement letter, missed a payment, or made a payment for less than the amount required in your agreement, you should continue to make your payments on schedule.  If you entered into a repayment agreement with DWD and you missed a payment, stopped making payments, or made payments in amounts less than what is required by your repayment agreement, you have broken your repayment agreement and DWD may send your debt to the Treasury Offset Program, (TOP) for offset of your federal income tax refund. 

I paid DWD in full, but my federal refund was still offset. What should I do?

At the time your debt was submitted to the Bureau of Fiscal Services, (BFS), your debt was not paid in full. Although the DWD sends updated information to BFS to reflect a change in the balance due, it is possible that the amount offset will be more than the balance due at the time of the offset.  If DWD receives an amount that is more than what is owed to DWD, DWD will refund the excess to you once it has been posted to your account.  If your federal refund was from a jointly filed return, your refund will be issued in both names.

Will DWD notify the Bureau of Fiscal Services, (BFS), of any changes to my balance for payments I make to DWD?

Yes. DWD will send updated account information to the Bureau of Fiscal Services, (BFS).

How soon will the federal refund that was offset show on my account?

Allow a minimum of four weeks for DWD to receive the payment from BFS and for the payment to appear on your account.

Will my federal income tax refund be taken in the future to pay my debt?

Your federal income tax refunds will be used to offset your debt until your debt is paid in full.

My spouse and I filed a joint federal tax return and our refund was offset for a debt that my spouse owes. How can I get my portion of the federal refund back?

You must complete IRS Form 8379 and send it to the IRS to get your share of the refund. Do not send this form to DWD.  You may download the form from the IRS website at www.irs.gov or call the IRS at 1-800-829-3676. If you have questions about the form or need help completing it, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.  The completed Form 8379 should be mailed to the IRS center where you sent your original tax return.  The IRS will notify the Department of Revenue Services when they apportion your refund, and we will adjust your account.  If you still have an amount that will be offset, include a copy of IRS Form 8379 when you file your federal tax return.