Can the IRS Intercept a Tax Refund If I Refuse to Pay Child Support?
Receiving a tax refund from the IRS is often something individuals and families alike rely on for their financial wellbeing. However, the IRS is not obligated to provide individuals with their tax refund no questions asked. If a Florida parent is required to pay child support and refuses to do so, then the IRS can intercept the tax refund.
Here are the key legal facts to know regarding the IRS and their ability to intercept tax refunds.
The Office of Child Support Enforcement
At the federal level, the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Support Enforcement exists to ensure parents receive consistent and timely child support payments.
There are several ways the federal government can take action to collect monthly and past-due child support, and intercepting a state or federal income tax refund is one of their methods for doing so.
Both the Office of Child Support Enforcement and the IRS authorize that tax refunds can be directed to a state’s child support agency for past-due support. This tax refund redirection is commonly referred to as a tax refund offset.
How a Tax Refund Offset Works
The Office of Child Support Enforcement allows state child support agencies like Florida’s program within the Florida Department of Revenue to intercept and hold a tax refund until the IRS has completed their review.
Just because a parent is delinquent with their child support payments does not mean their refund will necessarily be eligible for interception, however. The Federal Tax Refund Offset Program specifies which delinquent child support cases are eligible for interception.
Specifically, for an individuals’ tax refund to be intercepted through this program, child support must be at least $150 in arrears if the recipient of child support also receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) from the government. If the child support recipient does not receive TANF, then the amount of child support in arrears must be at least $500.
For those who qualify to have their tax refund intercepted, Florida’s child support enforcement office will make a list of the eligible cases for having a refund intercepted. Parents who are included as an eligible case will receive a Pre-Offset notice that includes the initial debt amount, as well as information regarding actions the state of Florida may take to enforce the child support obligation.
If you receive a pre-offset notice and disagree with any information in your notice, you may request a tax offset review with the agency that submitted the notice. Contact The McKinney Law Group your Tampa Divorce Lawyer for a legal consultation if you have any questions about the IRS intercepting a tax refund for past-due child support.
If you have questions regarding custody and divorce, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a Tampa family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group, your divorce lawyer Tampa, to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org