Tax Refund Intercept
Congress enacted the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program to recover past due child support. When a payor owes a past due amount, the IRS is notified to withhold and apply any tax refund to satisfy unpaid support. A notice is sent to the payor's last address on file with the IRS. The notice tells the payor that his/her case will be certified for intercept and gives instructions to contact the "Offset Coordinator" at the local child support office if they wish to dispute the amount owed. If a discrepancy is found, it could be corrected prior to filing the tax return so that intercept can be avoided.
Notification of Intercept
After the tax returns have been filed, the IRS will send a letter to the payor explaining that all or part of their refund was intercepted and forwarded to the State.
Spouse's Portion of a Refund
If a joint tax return is filed, the State of Florida will hold the tax refund for 170 days before crediting or disbursing the monies. This is done to allow the spouse to claim their portion of the refund from the IRS. To do this, the spouse must file what is called the Injured Spouse Form 8379.
Form 8379 can also be filed with the original tax return when the payor knows that the past due amount will be certified and/or intercepted. This avoids additional delay and prevents the spouse's portion of the tax return from being intercepted.
When a payor owes a past due amount, the Department of State is notified to deny passport applications and renewal of passports. A notice is sent to the payor with instructions on how to resolve. For more information visit the Administration for Children and Families Passport Denial Program Page.