The federal government under the Obama administration has found yet another way to take our money. The Social Security Administration and other government agencies started to confiscate the tax returns of Americans to pay for old debts, no matter how long ago the debt was made or by whom.
“Across the nation, who are expecting refunds this month are instead getting letters … informing them that because of a debt they never knew about – often a debt incurred by their parents – the government has confiscated their check.
“The Treasury Department has intercepted $1.9 billion in tax refunds already this year -- $75 million of that on debts delinquent for more than 10 years, said Jeffrey Schramek, assistant commissioner of the department’s debt management service. The aggressive effort to collect old debts started three years ago – the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts to Uncle Sam.”
This article has some very interesting information for the adult children of parents who were overpaid by Social Security or any other federal government agency. It appears that survivors are not normally responsible to pay out of their own funds the debts of deceased parents, but if the person or persons – even as children – benefitted indirectly from the overpayment, they are being held responsible for the debt. The government begins with the oldest child and goes down the line until the debt is paid. This may apply to my husband since he is the oldest child of his parents. They did not receive Social Security benefits, but they did receive retirement benefits from the government. I guess only time will tell if we get a letter.
The Social Security Administration apparently felt some heat when their collection of old debt became widely known and directed an immediate halt to the program to give the agency time to “review” it.