Why did my federal tax refund decrease after I filed?
TurboTax said you were going to get an $800 refund from the IRS, but your refund check or direct deposit came in lower than that. How come?
One possible explanation is that you used Refund Processing Services to pay your TurboTax fees. With Refund Processing Services, your TurboTax fees, plus an additional processing fee, is deducted from your federal tax refund.
Another explanation is that your refund was reduced by the government, either to correct a calculation error or through a refund offset. Normally, you can expect an explanatory letter with your refund or shortly thereafter.
More about refund offsets
The Department of Treasury's Financial Management Service can offset any unpaid federal or government debt against your refund without prior notice.
Most commonly, the offset is taken for:
- Past due child support
- Federal agency non-tax debts
- Certain unemployment debts owed to the state
- Past due federal student loans
- State income tax obligations
TurboTax has no control over refund offsets. We do not have information about why your refund was reduced, nor about any disputes you may have with government agencies.
If you want to find out if your refund was reduced due to an offset, call the FMS at (800) 304-3107. Be prepared to give them your name and Social Security number.
If you feel that your tax refund was reduced in error by the IRS, you can call the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service at 1-877-777-4778, or visit the Taxpayer Advocate web site at http://www.irs.gov/advocate for free assistance.
TurboTax Refund Meter changes after filing
This can happen if:
- You made additional changes to your tax return after you filed your return.
- You updated TurboTax (or we applied an update in TurboTax Online) that affected the calculations used on your return. See What if TurboTax is updated after I've already filed?