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Will the IRS intercept my California State tax refund if I owe them taxes from previous years and have an installment agreement?

Auburn, CA |

Live and work in california. Owe taxes from the last 3 years

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Attorney answers 3


You should expect that they will intercept but I have seen people who owe large amounts for previous years get large refunds. Being in an installment agreement only prevents collection via levy and wage garnishment.

If anyone has had a difference experience I hope they will share.

Good luck with your situation.

Postings provided on this forum are informal and do not establish an attorney client relationship. To discuss your matter further please call my office at (760) 340-1800 in Palm Desert or (909) 469-5127 in Pomona. In most instances I offer free consultations.


I agree with David Wiesen's answer.

If this is an issue, you should consider reducing your withholdings or quarterly estimated tax payments. See your tax advisor to determine the best way to do this without incurring a tax bill in the future.

Otherwise, the refund offset will only help you pay the delinquent tax faster.


I checked on this earlier this year and was informed by a tax employee of the State of California that there is not agreement with the IRS to allow the IRS to intercept refunds.

Good luck!
Phillip M. Smith Jr.
Los Angeles Tax & Business Attorney
Licensed in the United States Tax Court
Main: 323-292-4116 ❘ Cell: 562-505-1004

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mr. Smith is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in Los Angeles County. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. His phone number is 323-292-4116 or his email address is

Robert Jan Suhajda

Robert Jan Suhajda


I agree with Attorney Smith and add a warning that any federal refund will not be refunded.

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