If you check “Where’s My Refund?” and your tax refund status says “refund applied to pay past due obligation such as child support, another federal agency debt, or state income tax”. Most commonly this is a result of the taxpayer or spouse having past due child support obligations or student loan debt in default. You should receive a notice outlining the details.
Just because you owe a debt or have past due debts does not mean that you’re not entitled to a refund:
• In situations where a couple is married and one spouse owes a debt and the other spouse does not, this is referred to as an “Injured Spouse”.
• In a situation where a student loan is delinquent, this is referred to as being in “default”.