26 U.S.C. § 6402 - Authority to make credits or refunds

Cite as:26 U.S.C. § 6402
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-158 (08/14/2020)
 
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(a) General rule

In the case of any overpayment, the Secretary, within the applicable period of limitations, may credit the amount of such overpayment, including any interest allowed thereon, against any liability in respect of an internal revenue tax on the part of the person who made the overpayment and shall, subject to subsections (c), (d), (e), and (f), refund any balance to such person.

(b) Credits against estimated tax

The Secretary is authorized to prescribe regulations providing for the crediting against the estimated income tax for any taxable year of the amount determined by the taxpayer or the Secretary to be an overpayment of the income tax for a preceding taxable year.

(c) Offset of past-due support against overpayments

The amount of any overpayment to be refunded to the person making the overpayment shall be reduced by the amount of any past-due support (as defined in section 464(c) of the Social Security Act) owed by that person of which the Secretary has been notified by a State in accordance with section 464 of such Act. The Secretary shall remit the amount by which the overpayment is so reduced to the State collecting such support and notify the person making the overpayment that so much of the overpayment as was necessary to satisfy his obligation for past-due support has been paid to the State. The Secretary shall apply a reduction under this subsection first to an amount certified by the State as past due support under section 464 of the Social Security Act before any other reductions allowed by law. This subsection shall be applied to an overpayment prior to its being credited to a person's future liability for an internal revenue tax.

(d) Collection of debts owed to Federal agencies

(1) In general

Upon receiving notice from any Federal agency that a named person owes a past-due legally enforceable debt (other than past-due support subject to the provisions of subsection (c)) to such agency, the Secretary shall-

(A) reduce the amount of any overpayment payable to such person by the amount of such debt;

(B) pay the amount by which such overpayment is reduced under subparagraph (A) to such agency; and

(C) notify the person making such overpayment that such overpayment has been reduced by an amount necessary to satisfy such debt.

(2) Priorities for offset

Any overpayment by a person shall be reduced pursuant to this subsection after such overpayment is reduced pursuant to subsection (c) with respect to past-due support collected pursuant to an assignment under section 408(a)(3) of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 608(a)(3) ) and before such overpayment is reduced pursuant to subsections (e) and (f) and before such overpayment is credited to the future liability for tax of such person pursuant to subsection (b). If the Secretary receives notice from a Federal agency or agencies of more than one debt subject to paragraph (1) that is owed by a person to such agency or agencies, any overpayment by such person shall be applied against such debts in the order in which such debts accrued.

(3) Treatment of OASDI overpayments

(A) Requirements

Paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to an OASDI overpayment only if the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 3720A(f) of title 31, United States Code, are met with respect to such overpayment.

(B) Notice; protection of other persons filing joint return

(i) Notice

In the case of a debt consisting of an OASDI overpayment, if the Secretary determines upon receipt of the notice referred to in paragraph (1) that the refund from which the reduction described in paragraph (1)(A) would be made is based upon a joint return, the Secretary shall-

(I) notify each taxpayer filing such joint return that the reduction is being made from a refund based upon such return, and

(II) include in such notification a description of the procedures to be followed, in the case of a joint return, to protect the share of the refund which may be payable to another person.

(ii) Adjustments based on protections given to other taxpayers on joint return

If the other person filing a joint return with the person owing the OASDI overpayment takes appropriate action to secure his or her proper share of the refund subject to reduction under this subsection, the Secretary shall pay such share to such other person. The Secretary shall deduct the amount of such payment from amounts which are derived from subsequent reductions in refunds under this subsection and are payable to a trust fund referred to in subparagraph (C).

(C) Deposit of amount of reduction into appropriate trust fund

In lieu of payment, pursuant to paragraph (1)(B), of the amount of any reduction under this subsection to the Commissioner of Social Security, the Secretary shall deposit such amount in the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund or the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, whichever is certified to the Secretary as appropriate by the Commissioner of Social Security.

(D) OASDI overpayment

For purposes of this paragraph, the term "OASDI overpayment" means any overpayment of benefits made to an individual under title II of the Social Security Act.

(e) Collection of past-due, legally enforceable State income tax obligations

(1) In general

Upon receiving notice from any State that a named person owes a past-due, legally enforceable State income tax obligation to such State, the Secretary shall, under such conditions as may be prescribed by the Secretary-

(A) reduce the amount of any overpayment payable to such person by the amount of such State income tax obligation;

(B) pay the amount by which such overpayment is reduced under subparagraph (A) to such State and notify such State of such person's name, taxpayer identification number, address, and the amount collected; and

(C) notify the person making such overpayment that the overpayment has been reduced by an amount necessary to satisfy a past-due, legally enforceable State income tax obligation.

If an offset is made pursuant to a joint return, the notice under subparagraph (B) shall include the names, taxpayer identification numbers, and addresses of each person filing such return.

(2) Offset permitted only against residents of State seeking offset

Paragraph (1) shall apply to an overpayment by any person for a taxable year only if the address shown on the Federal return for such taxable year of the overpayment is an address within the State seeking the offset.

(3) Priorities for offset

Any overpayment by a person shall be reduced pursuant to this subsection-

(A) after such overpayment is reduced pursuant to-

(i) subsection (a) with respect to any liability for any internal revenue tax on the part of the person who made the overpayment;

(ii) subsection (c) with respect to past-due support; and

(iii) subsection (d) with respect to any past-due, legally enforceable debt owed to a Federal agency; and

(B) before such overpayment is credited to the future liability for any Federal internal revenue tax of such person pursuant to subsection (b).

If the Secretary receives notice from one or more agencies of the State of more than one debt subject to paragraph (1) or subsection (f) that is owed by such person to such an agency, any overpayment by such person shall be applied against such debts in the order in which such debts accrued.

(4) Notice; consideration of evidence

No State may take action under this subsection until such State-

(A) notifies by certified mail with return receipt the person owing the past-due State income tax liability that the State proposes to take action pursuant to this section;

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