WASHINGTON (AP)—People who owe old debts to the Social Security Administration are getting a reprieve this tax season: The federal government won’t be seizing their tax refunds.
Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin suspended a debt collection program last spring in which thousands of people had tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments that happened more than a decade ago. Members of Congress complained that some people were being forced to repay benefits they received decades ago as children.
Following a review, the agency said Monday it will continue suspending the program this tax season while officials explore possible changes.
“The commissioner is concerned about the public perception about the way we’re running this program,” said Pete Spencer, Social Security’s deputy commissioner for budget, finance, quality and management.