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Federal Tax Refund Offset Changes for Non-Minor Children on Non-TANF Cases


Published: October 19, 2007
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL)
Collection & Enforcement Systems



DATE: October 19, 2007


RE:Federal Tax Refund Offset Changes for Non-Minor Children on Non-TANF Cases

Dear Colleague:

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which amended Section 464 (42 U.S.C. 664) of the Social Security Act, redefines the term “past-due support” to mean support owed to any child, whether or not a minor, and deletes all references to the term “qualified child.” This means that effective October 1, 2007, States may certify non-TANF cases that were previously not eligible for the Federal Offset Program.

The implementation of this legislation provides States with a monumental opportunity to collect money for the children and families whose past-due support might have been previously uncollectible. In support of the Project to Avoid Increasing Delinquencies (PAID) initiative, we strongly encourage States to certify those previously exempt cases and obligors in time for tax offset collection in 2008, which generally begins as early as mid-January for early filers. Ensuring those qualified cases are added to the Federal Offset Program as soon as possible will be significant in helping the PAID initiative meet its prescribed goals to decrease delinquencies and, more importantly, increase support to families.

While it is impossible to predict exactly how many additional collections will be generated by this change, early estimates from States indicate at least one million additional cases will be eligible for Federal tax refund offset.

Historically, one in five cases certified for tax refund offset will receive a collection. This means the Federal Offset Program could expect to receive 200,000 additional offsets annually. Using the conservative estimate of $1,100 per offset, the change could possibly generate an additional $220 million annually.

If you have any questions regarding this provision, please contact Scott Hale at (202) 401-5745 or email scott.hale@acf.hhs.gov.


Margot Bean
Office of Child Support Enforcement

cc: Regional Program Managers
ACF Regional Administrators
Federal Offset Coordinators