IRS to cut back on recovering debts owed to the government that are older than a decade

Imagine losing your tax refund without warning.

It's happened to thousands of consumers across the country since 2011.

The Treasury Department confiscates the cash to recover overpayments made by Social Security. In some cases, the debt is decades old.

It happened to Chad Biggs.  He never saw it coming.

Biggs was just a child when his dad passed away in the early 1970s. He says he never received a dime from Social Security, but according to a letter dated just last month Social Security over paid Biggs in 1978.

In the letter, the government claims it notified him about the over payment 30 plus years ago. But Biggs said he was unaware of any of this until he opened his tax return this year.

It was $1100 short. 

An enclosed letter from the IRS explained the money was owed to another agency.

Biggs is among thousands of Americans who've lost hundreds of millions of dollars in tax refunds to old Social Security debt in the last three years. But just last month, the government announced it would stop going after anything owed over a decade ago.

In a statement the agency stated there would be "an immediate halt to further referrals...to recover debts to the agency that are 10 years old and older..."

For the Biggs, the government's change of policy comes too late. Their $1100 is gone.

Now their only recourse is to file an appeal which they are in the process of doing.

If this has happened to you, or someone you know, you can file an appeal.

Unfortunately, there is no form online.  You will have to visit your local social security office.

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