What Happens to My Refund?
If you have unpaid past-due taxes or a state agency debt, the Michigan Department of Treasury is authorized by Michigan law to offset your income tax refund or credit to apply to the debt until the debt is paid in full. This includes debt(s) currently on a payment plan. Read more about Delinquent Accounts. If all or part of your income tax refund was taken to pay a debt that you owe the State of Michigan, you will receive a Notice of Adjustment to Income Tax Refund letter that provides you with detailed information about your refund. If your refund is more than the amount you owe, Treasury will refund the difference to you. In the event that only one spouse is liable for the debt and you filed a joint income tax return you will receive a Notice of Hold on Income Tax Refund or Credit letter with a Non-Obligated Spouse form to complete and return within 30 days from the date on the accompanying letter to the Michigan Department of Treasury.
When Your Refund is Garnished, What Happens Next
The Michigan Department of Treasury, Third Party Withholding Unit, receives and processes garnishments, probate orders, child support orders, overpayment of unemployment benefits and IRS levies on individual income tax refunds under the authority of Public Act 211 of 1985. Treasury is required to provide notice to taxpayers before withholding individual income tax refunds or credits for payment of a debt. It could take up to 18 weeks longer to process a refund with a garnishment than it does a refund that has not been garnished. A garnishment is a legal process executed through a court order in favor of the creditor (plaintiff). Treasury withholds tax refunds or credits of the individual (defendant) to pay a debt owed to the creditor. If your individual income tax refund is held as a result of a garnishment, the State has received notice of the judgment against you and is required to withhold (offset) your income tax refund or credit to satisfy the debt.
When the State receives a garnishment order, it is matched with income tax return information and the refund is held for possible offset. Treasury mails the taxpayer a notice of the pending offset. The kind of notice received and the time it takes to issue any remaining refund depends on filing status, method of filing (e-filed or mailed return), any reviews that occur in normal processing of the return and time-frames for response and actions that are required by law.
If you disagree with the garnishment of your tax refund or credit, we encourage you to seek legal representation or advice. Reasons for disputing the garnishment may include: o the debt is paid in full o you believe you don't owe this debt o the debt was discharged in bankruptcy court For Treasury to release the garnishment on your income tax refund, we must receive one of the following court-validated documents prior to issuing payment to the plaintiff/creditor or their attorney. You may obtain these documents from the creditor, the creditor's attorney or the court. o MC-51 Order on Objections to Garnishment: Accepted by Treasury only if it releases the full refund amount offset. Treasury cannot process partial payments. o MC-50 Garnishment Release: A garnishment release issued by a circuit or district court requires Treasury to release a refund offset to the taxpayer. o MC-17 Certificate of Satisfied Judgment: This form is issued when the debt has been paid in full.
Who to Contact When Garnishment Happens
If you have questions regarding a garnishment of an individual income tax refund or credit, contact the following resources for additional information: o Contact the Plaintiff (creditor) or Plaintiff's Attorney (this information is available on the "Request for Information" and "Notice of Income Tax Refund Used for Debts" notices.) o For information regarding the debt o For proof that the debt has been previously released or satisfied o If the amount of the debt is in question o If you are not the person listed as the debtor (defendant) o To make payment arrangements to secure a garnishment release o Contact the Court (this information is available on the "Request for Information" and "Notice of Income Tax Refund Used for Debts" notices.) o To file an objection (MC-49) and request a hearing o To question the legality of the garnishment o If you were not informed or served a copy of the garnishment by the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney.
Contacting the Court
o Contact the Court (this information is available on the "Request for Information" and "Notice of Income Tax Refund Used for Debts" notices.) o To file an objection (MC-49) and request a hearing o To question the legality of the garnishment o If you were not informed or served a copy of the garnishment by the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney o For additional information, view the Court's Information web page.
Contacting the Treasury
o For Refund Status information: ? Treasury's "Check my Income Tax Info" website is the quickest way to check the status of your refund. You will need to have your name, social security number the tax year; filing status and either the adjusted gross income or household income for that year. Or call (517) 636-4486. ? For payment status, i.e., if the refund has been sent to the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney, call 517-636-5333. ? If you have obtained a Garnishment Release, Satisfaction of Judgment, or your debt was discharged due to bankruptcy, call 517-636-5333. ? For questions regarding Treasury's Income Allocation to Non-Obligated Spouse form (NOS Form-743), call (517) 636-4486 or 517-636-5333.