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Will owing back taxes delay your refund?

Will Owing Back Taxes Delay Your Refund?

Owing back taxes

Tax season can be both an exciting and stressful time for many individuals and families. As you eagerly anticipate your tax refund – a financial boost that can make a significant difference in your life – you may also grapple with the nagging question: "If I owe back taxes, will it delay my tax refund?" To clarify, "back taxes" refer to taxes that you owe from previous years, and a "tax refund" is a sum of money returned to you by the government, often based on overpayment of taxes. 

Will Owing Back Taxes Impact Your Refund?

It’s a question that often looms large in the minds of taxpayers: "If I owe back taxes, will it delay my tax refund?" The answer is not a straightforward yes or no, as various factors come into play.

Factors That Influence Tax Refund Delays

Several factors can influence whether owing back taxes will delay your refund.

Here are some key considerations:

  • Tax Refund Offsets: If you owe back taxes, the IRS may offset your refund to cover the outstanding debt. This means that the amount you owe will be deducted from your expected refund. However, this doesn’t necessarily result in a delay; it merely reduces the amount you receive.
  • Payment Plan in Place: If you have a payment plan in place with the IRS for your back taxes, and you are making regular payments as agreed, it’s less likely that your refund will be delayed. The IRS is generally more lenient when a taxpayer is in compliance with a payment plan.
  • Outstanding Tax Liabilities: The severity of your back tax situation matters. If you owe a substantial amount that you are unable to pay, it may lead to delays if the IRS needs to conduct a more in-depth review of your financial situation.
  • Errors or Discrepancies: If there are errors or discrepancies in your tax return, regardless of whether you owe back taxes, it can result in a delay as the IRS investigates and verifies the information.
  • Government Debt: Owing certain types of government debts, such as student loans or child support, can lead to a refund offset. This is separate from back taxes but can impact your refund.


The question of whether owing back taxes will delay your refund is not a simple one. It depends on various factors, including the nature and severity of your back tax situation. However, with the support of Priority Tax Relief, you can navigate these challenges with confidence and clarity.

Remember, you don’t have to face tax-related concerns alone. Reach out to Priority Tax Relief today and take the first step toward a brighter financial future. With their assistance, you can make informed decisions and minimize any potential delays in receiving your well-deserved refund.

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