Overview of the Federal Collections and Enforcement Program

Publication Date: February 1, 2020

The Federal Collections and Enforcement Program helps collect past-due support using these remedies:

Policy and Technical Resources


Federal Income Tax Refund Offset

Enacted by Congress, the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program intercepts federal tax refunds of noncustodial parents who owe past-due support. This remedy involves all state child support agencies and three federal agencies — the Office of Child Support Enforcement, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, and the Internal Revenue Service. Learn about how the program works.

Administrative Offset

This remedy intercepts certain federal payments on behalf of child support agencies to collect past-due support from noncustodial parents. The Debt Collection Improvement Act allows certain federal payments (other than federal tax refunds) to be offset. State participation in this program is optional. A state may submit a case for Administrative Offset when the debt is at least $25 and 30 days past due, although states have flexibility to determine a higher threshold. Both recurring and nonrecurring payments are eligible for administrative offset. Read more about this program.

Passport Denial

This program allows the State Department to deny passports of noncustodial parents who owe more than $2,500 in past-due support. Learn more about the program.

Multistate Financial Institution Data Match

For this remedy, OCSE compares account records from participating multistate financial institutions with information about individuals who owe past-due child support and sends the matches to state child support agencies. Read more about how this works.

Insurance Match

Through this program, we partner with insurance companies, state workers’ compensation agencies, and the Department of Labor to help child support agencies collect past-due support from parents’ insurance claims, settlements, awards, and other payments. Learn more about the program.

Debt Inquiry Service

This is a web-based application on the secure Child Support Portal that enables insurers to easily and efficiently notify child support agencies of upcoming claimant payments. Read more about the service.

Last Reviewed Date: