1. People & Relationships

Can A Tax Refund Be Used To Pay Child Support Arrears?

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Question: Can A Tax Refund Be Used To Pay Child Support Arrears?

My ex is behind in paying child support. I have heard that his tax refund can be used to pay child support arrears. Is this true?

Answer:

Yes! According to Federal law, if a parent is behind in paying child support your state’s child support enforcement office can seize the parent’s income tax refund and apply it to any child support arrears.

In order for you to collect back child support in this way, you must enroll in your state’s tax intercept program. You can do this by contacting your local child support enforcement office. In most states, a fee must be paid to become a participant in the program.

You should also know that the Federal Tax Intercept Program applies the stimulus payments taxpayers have received recently. If a stimulus payment is announced be sure you contact your state’s child support enforcement office regarding collecting back child support through seizure of this payment.

If your ex-spouse has remarried the only portion you will get from a tax return will be the portion based on his/her income. Your state’s child support enforcement office will hold your ex’s tax refund for six months.

This gives his/her new spouse the opportunity to file an “injured spouse” form with the Internal Revenue Service. If the new spouse doesn’t file the injured spouse form, the entire refund will go toward any child support arrears.

Any refund that is seized will first go toward paying off any public assistance you received from the state. It is also applied first to any debts your ex owes the government. These include federal student loans or any income taxed owed.

 

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