Thresholds for Federal Income Tax Refund Offset


Publication Date: July 9, 2001

Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children & Families
Office of Child Support Enforcement


DATE: July 9, 2001

TO: State IV-D Directors, Regional Program Managers


Frank Fuentes

Acting Commissioner

Office of Child Support Enforcement

SUBJECT:  Thresholds for Federal Income Tax Refund Offset

Recently, through discussions with the Offset Modernization Workgroup, it has come to our attention that there is some confusion as to the meaning of the thresholds for Federal Income Tax Refund Offset. The thresholds in question are $500 for unassigned support and $150 for assigned support, as set forth in 45 CFR 303.72 and 31 CFR 285.3. The question is as follows:

Question: Must the thresholds for assigned and unassigned support for Federal Income Tax Refund Offset be met for each IV-D case in which the individual is a non-custodial parent? Or may the obligor's past-due support amounts be combined across IV-D cases within each category of assigned and unassigned support to reach the threshold?

Answer: The regulations at 45 CFR 303.72 speak in terms of past-due support assigned to the State or past-due support owed in cases where the IV-D agency is providing IV-D services under 45 CFR 302.33. The obligor's past-due support must remain distinct between assigned and unassigned amounts, but if the obligor has two or more IV-D cases, the State may add all assigned support together across multiple cases to reach the threshold amount. Similarly, the State may add unassigned amounts owed in different IV-D cases by the same obligor to reach the threshold.

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