Flop, Turn, River

So for the first time in like five years, I'm expecting a refund on my income taxes.

Bad financial planning, crap luck, fallout from the divorce -- whatever you can imagine, the government has found a way to dump it right back on my head. It got so bad last year that I actually had to enter into a repayment contract with the IRS that it will probably take me five to six years (at least) to clear.

So this year when I showed up to file my return it was only natural for me to be a little gun shy. The woman who helps me and my dad out with these things offered a friendly smile, but seemed surprised at the fact that I hadn't even opened my W-2 to look at it before I brought it to her.
"Come on now, nothing could be as bad as you got it last time."
"..That's what you told me last year."
But by the end of all the forms and calculations, it became clear that this time I was actually above water for once. But then came the real question:
Could I actually have it?
In other words, because my finances were considerably less fucked up this year then they have been for a while, the IRS owes me a check. At the same time, I still owe the IRS like eight large. After referring to a few manuals and things, it was concluded that because I've already officially entered into an approved repayment plan with the IRS for last years debt, the check should come my way.

Which would be fantastic, because not only am I in serious need of a little boost in the bank account, but there is a certain overpriced guitar pedal that I've been exceptionally diligent in not blowing my entire paycheck on every time I get paid that I would love to finally be able to purchase.

But then the other day while I was checking the status of my return, I caught sight of this little blurb on the IRS website:
We have received your tax return and it is being processed. Unless we find
mistakes or you owe other taxes, you should receive your refund by [redacted].
Although my tax "people" seemed pretty confident that the check would come to me, seeing this statement in black and white from the IRS has me terrified that it's all gonna go poof right before my eyes. Of course the sucky part is that the government pretty much has every right to take it from me, and modest as the amount of my expected return is -- adding it on to the balance would really help take a bite out of this debt that I owe.
But that doesn't mean I wouldn't really rather just have the cake.
I called my tax lady back to see what she thought, and she's like "Honestly it could go either way -- it just depends on how they interpret things."
It's like I'm sitting at the table across from Teddy KGB.

[Listening to:  From Zero"The Other Side" ]