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Treasury Offset Program
How TOP Works for Unpaid Michigan Income Taxes
The Treasury Offset Program (TOP) is a debt collection program administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS). Section 6402(e) of the United States Tax Code allows federal tax refunds to be offset to collect delinquent state income tax obligations. 31 U.S.C. § 3720A and other laws authorizes the Michigan Department of Treasury to enter into agreements with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) to intercept or offset federal tax refunds and federal payments for State of Michigan income tax debts.
TOP Notifications Sent to Michigan Taxpayers
The Michigan Department of Treasury Collection Services Bureau will send a “Notice of Intent to Offset” by certified mail to the last known address, explaining that the debt will be forwarded to TOP if not paid in full within 60 days.
Once TOP receives certification from the state of the past-due tax debt, the federal income tax refund may be taken to pay down the state debt. This process is referred to as an offset. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sends any remaining federal refund amount to the taxpayer. The U.S. Department of Treasury Bureau of Fiscal Service mails a notification explaining why the federal refund was reduced. It may take several weeks before the federal refund is applied to outstanding debts with the State of Michigan Department of Treasury.
How to Avoid a TOP Offset
To avoid the offset, you must take one of the actions described below within 60 days from the date of the certified “Notice of Intent to Offset” letter:
- Pay the balance in full.
- Provide documentation proving all or part of the debt owed to the Michigan Department of Treasury is not past due or legally enforceable.
(517) 636-5265 / Collection Information Services Unit (CISU) Mainline – New Individual Income Tax (IIT) Debts
(866) 754-8651 / Michigan Account Receivables Collections System – Older Individual Income Tax (IIT) Debts
(800) 304-3107 / Bureau of Fiscal Services (BFS) TOP Call Center Mainline
- Contact BFS only if your original refund amount shown on the BFS offset notice differs from the refund amount shown on your tax return.
(800) 829-1040 / IRS Income Tax Mainline
(517) 636-4486 / Michigan Department of Treasury Individual Income Tax Division Mainline
TOP Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 30168
Lansing, MI 48909
- This address is to submit payment (no cash) or proof the debt has already been paid or is not owed.
Visit the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service's webpage for a Treasury Offset Program Overview.
To make an online payment on a delinquent debt visit Collections e-Service.