Child’s father said his federal tax refund was taken for child support.

child_support_personQ) My child’s father told me weeks ago that his federal tax refund was taken for child support. When will I get the money?

A) If the federal tax refund was intercepted for child support arrears, it will be sent to the state child support agency for processing. The state will then apply the payment to the past-due amount owed on the child support case. If there is no past-due amount, the payment will be applied to the ongoing support obligation.

It is likely that the state where the child support issue originated from is the one that flagged the individual’s passport application. It is important to contact the child support enforcement agency in that state to resolve any outstanding payments and clear up any issues that may be preventing the individual from obtaining their passport. Once the issue is resolved, the individual should be able to reapply for a passport and travel abroad for business or other purposes. It may be helpful to consult with a family law attorney who can provide guidance throughout the process.

It is important to note that the Federal Child Support Enforcement Program has a number of tools at its disposal to collect child support payments 1, including wage garnishment, seizing federal tax refunds, and suspending passports. It is in the best interest of both the custodial parent and the child to work towards resolving any outstanding child support issues in a timely and efficient manner.

The time frame for processing the intercepted tax refund can vary depending on the state and the workload of the child support agency. It’s best to contact your local child support agency to inquire about the status of the intercepted refund and when you can expect to receive the payment.

NOTE: It usually takes three to five weeks from the time the money is offset from the obligor’s tax refund until the state receives it. The Department of the Treasury has encouraged states to hold collections from joint tax returns for up to six months in case the obligor’s spouse who does not owe child support files for his or her share of the refund. The Office of Child Support Enforcement and Treasury Department will work together to provide information to the states if the spouse has filed a claim for his or her part of the refund and has received the money. States will be able to distribute the offset to the family when they receive that information. When a family receives or used to receive TANF benefits, states have the option to keep federal tax refunds to repay the benefits. Check with your child support agency to see if the money has been collected and, if so, when you can expect to receive it.

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