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.