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If my wages are being garnished for student loans can the irs take my tax refund?

Nashville, TN |

I am a single mother of 3 working a fulltime job @ 8/hour.

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Filed under: Tax law
Attorney answers 3


The facts provided in your question are not clear. Are you asking whether the student loan creditor can get your Federal tax refund? If so and your wages are being garnished due to student loan creditors who have properly secured their interest, then generally speaking the answer would be yes the creditor could get your federal refund. Otherwise, if the IRS has an active levy against you, the IRS can also take your refund.

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If you owe back taxes at the time you file your return, the IRS will take your refund.


If your wages are being garnished for a student loan, is this a FEDERAL student loan or a private student loan? If federal, it means you loan is in default and YES, the Dept of Education can intercept your tax refund. However, there is a way to stop this - it is called rehabilitation and you can learn about it from the debt collector servicing the account (not sure they'll tell you everything you need to know), you can call the Dept of Education Ombudsman at 877-557-2575, or you can contact me directly at
(if you change your exemptions so you're not overpaying your taxes, there won't be a refund to intercept - talk to an accountant about this. Also, it seems your wages are very close to the minimum wage so not much should be taken out (assuming you work 40 hours a week, only $30 is subject to garnishment - but still, I could understand that this is a lot for a single mother of 3). Bottom line, don't sit on this, get information and assistance to tackle this issue.
Good luck!

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