Treasury Offset Program Collections for federal debts

Overview

The Treasury Offset Program (TOP) is a centralized offset program that collects delinquent debts owed to federal agencies and states. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury, administers TOP. We partner with TOP to offset federal payments and tax refunds in order to collect delinquent state income tax obligations.

If you have a past due, legally enforceable California income tax debt and are entitled to a federal income tax refund, we are authorized to have your refund withheld (offset) to pay your balance due.

We may charge a fee for federal offsets. Additionally, if you have an existing liability with us, we may charge you a collection cost recovery fee.

Offset letter

We will send an Intent to Offset Federal Payments (FTB 1102) to your last known address. The letter explains that we plan to notify BFS of the debt if you do not pay in full within 60 days.

BFS will send you a letter explaining why your federal refund was reduced and that it may take several weeks before the federal refund reaches FTB. They will also send any remaining federal refund amount to you.

To get a copy of your letter, contact us.

Prevent an offset

To avoid the offset, you must take one of the actions below within 60 days from the date of the certified letter:

Pay the debt in full

Pay the full amount listed on the Intent to Offset Federal Payments (FTB 1102).

Use the payment coupon included in the letter when you send your check or money order. To make a payment online, visit Payment options.

For any changes to your balance for payments you make to us, we send updated account information to BFS weekly.

Allow a minimum of 2 weeks for an offset to show on your account.

Request a review

If you believe that all or part of the debt is not past due or not legally enforceable, you must send evidence to support your position. Mail us your evidence.

If you believe your debt has already been paid off, contact us at the address or phone number on the Intent to Offset Federal Payments (FTB 1102).

Bankruptcy

If you filed for bankruptcy, contact us:

Phone
(916) 845-4750
Weekdays, 8 AM to 5 PM
Fax
Fax to us a copy of your bankruptcy petition with the notice we sent you. Provide us with your bankruptcy case number and the name of the bankruptcy court.
(916) 845-9799
Mail
State of California
Offset Program MS A419
Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 2966
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-2966

Although you are not subject to offset of your federal income tax refund while the bankruptcy “automatic stay” is in effect, you still are obligated to file tax returns.