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Child Support Federal Tax Refund Offset
The Federal Tax Refund Offset program is a tool that the child support office uses to collect child support arrears. The child support office can file a claim against any federal income tax refund a parent may receive, no matter how they file their tax return - electronic, mail, or rapid refund..
The child support office can take a parent's federal income tax refund to pay arrears when:
The child support office will not take a parent's federal tax refund if any of the following are true:
The child support office will send an Administrative Offset and Federal Tax Refund Offset Programs notice to the parent who owes arrears. The notice tells the parent that the child support office has or will file a claim with the United States Department of Treasury for the amount of the child support arrears. The notice explains the parents right to a review. It also explains what will happen if the parent does not pay or take action.
State law requires the child support office to charge the custodial parent a $25 fee when the federal tax refund offset is more than $100 and is applied to nonpublic assistance arrears. The fee is deducted from the amount collected before sending the payment to the custodial parent. If multiple cases are involved, the child support office charges the $25 fee for each case that meets the criteria.
When the arrears owed to the custodial parent are eligible for an offset, the child support office sends the custodial parent a Notice of Federal Tax Intercept Fee.
When the child support office receives the offset funds, it applies the money to all of the parent's cases that qualify for a federal tax refund offset. The office may hold the funds for up to six months before releasing a payment to the custodial parent.
The state child support office holds funds received from the offset of a single federal tax refund for arrears owed to the custodial parent for 30 days before releasing to the custodial parent.
The state child support office holds funds received from the offset of a joint federal tax refund for six months to allow time for the non-obligated spouse of the parent who owes arrears to file an Injured Spouse Claim with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
If the parent who owes arrears filed joint tax return with a spouse, the non-obligated spouse can file an Injured Spouse Claim. The claim prorates refunds from joint tax returns so the non-obligated spouses portion of the refund is not used to pay the noncustodial parents child support obligation.
The non-obligated spouse must file IRS Form 8379 to claim their portion of the refund. For questions about this form, call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
Minnesota Statutes can be found on the Minnesota Office of the Revisor Web site.
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