Can Tax Refunds be Intercepted When a Parent Doesn’t Pay?

Perhaps you have already enforced a child support order and your spouse has not been keeping up with payments. This could be for many reasons. Perhaps they lost their job, or perhaps they believe that they can skirt out of payments without any consequences. No matter the reason, as long as your spouse does not try to modify the order, they are breaking the law in regards to child support. So, if you are entitled to back child support that your spouse still owes, isn’t it only fair that their tax refund is garnished at the end of the year to pay support back to you?

Is It Possible?

Yes. Federal law permits a state child support office to intercept a parent’s tax refund if they have not paid their back child support. Even if a child is emancipated and is technically not still being raised by both parents, if there is back support at all, it can be garnished. However, you must first make sure that you are enrolled with your state’s tax intercept program, which is the program that will help you receive the support that you are owed for your child. For this, you should see your local child support office.

There are some times where this will not apply, however. For instance, if a parent owes child support and is remarried, their refund may not be applied to back taxes. Likewise, a parent who owes other government debts like federal student loans of federal income tax, must pay off those debts with the tax refund before child support becomes first and foremost. The intercept program also doesn’t work in cases where a parent avoids filing a tax refund.

When you file for the tax intercept program, you should always be aware that there might be a fee, or you may not get the results you were looking for based on your specific situation. You can find out more about this possibility and how to move forward by calling an experienced attorney at The Law Offices of Amy M. Montes, where your legal matters are important to us. Call us today.