DATE: June 11, 2010
TO: State Agencies Administering Child Support Enforcement Plans Under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and Other Interested Individuals
SUBJECT: Collection and Enforcement of Past-Due Child Support Obligations through the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset, Administrative Offset, Passport Denial, Multistate Financial Institution Data Match, and Federal Insurance Match Programs.
ATTACHMENT: Collection and Enforcement of Past-Due Child Support Obligations through the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset, Administrative Offset, Passport Denial, Multistate Financial Institution Data Match, and Federal Insurance Match Programs
SUMMARY: Collection and Enforcement of Past-Due Child Support Obligations through the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset, Administrative Offset, Passport Denial, Multistate Financial Institution Data Match, and Federal Insurance Match Programs.
This updates guidance issued via AT-99-14 dated December 2, 1999.
Background: In 1981, the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program was enacted into law (see section 2331, P.L. 97-35). Initially, this program was restricted to public assistance cases and enforced past-due child support obligations by intercepting part or all of a noncustodial parent’s (NCP) federal income tax refund. This program was expanded in 1984 to allow for its use in non-assistance cases.
The Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA) of 1996 (P.L. 104-134) was enacted into law on April 26, 1996. The primary purpose of the DCIA is to increase the collection of non-tax debt owed to the federal government. The DCIA contains important provisions for use in the collection of past-due child support obligations.
The DCIA was further strengthened by Executive Order 13019 - Supporting Families: Collecting Delinquent Child Support Obligations, dated September 26, 1998. This executive order allows the Secretary of Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to develop and implement procedures necessary to collect child support debts by administrative offsets. These procedures appear at 31 CFR 285.1 and 285.3.
Section 370 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 (P.L. 104-193) amended the Social Security Act by adding section 452(k). This section became effective October 1, 1997 and provides for the denial, revocation, and restriction of U.S. passports.
In addition, PRWORA required each state to enact laws enabling IV-D agencies to conduct quarterly data matches with every financial institution that conducts business in their state to identify the financial accounts of NCPs. The Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-200) created the Multistate Financial Institution Data Match to provide multistate financial institutions (MSFIs) the option to coordinate with a single point of contact rather than each state separately. States can, if they choose, grant OCSE the authority to be their agent in dealing with MSFIs.
In February 2006, the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 amended the Social Security Act (the Act) in several sections pertinent to the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program and related collection and enforcement programs, including:
CONTENTS: This Action Transmittal applies to those cases in which the state has an assignment of support rights under section 408(a)(3) or 471(a)(17) of the Act; is enforcing the child support obligation pursuant to section 454(6) of the Act; or has an assignment of medical support rights under section 1912(a)(1)(A) of the Act.
SUPERSEDED MATERIAL: AT-99-14, December 2, 1999
INQUIRIES TO: OCSE Federal Collections and Enforcement Unit
Office of Child Support Enforcement
cc: ACF/OCSE Regional Program Managers
Tribal IV-D Directors