The IRS will have priority regarding any refunds before child support so your refund will go first to pay back taxes owed, then any remaining amounts go to child support. If anything's left after that, it will get to you.
Evan A. Nielsen is licensed to practice law in California. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.
The authority of the IRS to intercept tax refunds was established pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code. The program is known as TRIP, or the tax refund intercept program.
The TRIP program is not absolute and it provides safeguards for the taxpayer. A delinquent parent does have rights. A delinquent parent is one who owes at least $500.00 in past due child support. This parent must first be certified by the office that administers the TRIP Program in your state to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. If the intention exists to intercept the taxpayer's refund, he or she must be given 30 days advance notice in which to challenge the action.
You may feel that the amount of child support arrears that is owed may be inaccurate, or you believe that there are no arrears or delinquencies. Don't delay in bringing this to the attention of the court. Get a hearing scheduled and get the matter clarified before year end. It will save you a lot of time and energy by taking a proactive approach with this issue, rather than a reactive one.
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