When an obligor (non-custodial parent) has child support arrears of at least $500.00, his/her federal tax refund can be intercepted and sent directly to the obligee (custodial parent) under a program called Project Intercept.  If the obligee or child receives public assistance, then the obligor’s federal tax refund can be intercepted if the obligor at least $150.00 in arrears. 

Before a federal tax refund is intercepted, the child support agency will send the obligor a notice informing him/her that a claim has been filed with the U.S. Department of Treasury for the amount of child support arrears owed.  This notice will also tell the obligor about his/her right to have any tax intercept reviewed, and what will happen if the obligor does nothing.  If the federal tax refund is the result of a joint filing, the refund will be held for up to six months so the obligor’s spouse has time to file an injured spouse claim.  If the obligor filed as a single person, the refund will only be held forup to 30 days before being sent to the custodial parent.

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2 Responses to “Federal Tax Refunds and Child Support Arrears in Minnesota”

  1. Audrey Ferrozzo says:

    Is there any way to determine whether there has been an injured spouse claim filed?

    • Carol Mayer says:

      Ms. Ferrozzo,

      I believe the only way to determine whether an injured spouse claim has been filed is to contact the IRS diredtly.

      An injured spouse claim involves a request by the “injured spouse” (lets say wife) to obtain a refund of her interest in a refund that has been taken due to the unpaid obligations of her husband (for example unpaid child support arrears). Do not confuse an injured spouse claim with an innocent spouse claim. An innocient spouse claim is made by an “innocent spouse” (lets say the wfe) who does not want to be forced to pay taxes owed by her husband (for example due to shady dealings he did not disclose to her and the IRS fond out about them).

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