Divorce & Family Law in Connecticut

Divorce & Family Law Connecticut - Dori Ellen Feltman Attorney at Law

Will Child Support Enforcement Take My Tax Refund or Third Stimulus Check?

What is the Treasury Offset Program “TOP”? 

The TOP collects delinquent debts such as child support arrears from tax refunds, certain economic stimulus payments and social security payments.  When you have a child support arrearage, the TOP helps Child Support Enforcement collect the debt by holding money back from a Federal payment to the debtor.  Holding back money from a payment is called “offsetting the payment” or “administrative offset”.

Will I be notified before the TOP garnishes my tax refund to offset my child support debt?

Yes, Child Support Enforcement will notify you (the debtor) in writing 60 days before sending the child support debt to the TOP for garnishment from your tax refund.  You will be given an opportunity to dispute the amount owed to Child Support Enforcement and/or enter into a payment plan acceptable to the agency prior to the garnishment taking effect.  Up to 100% of your tax refund may be used to satisfy past due child support obligations.

Will my American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 stimulus payment (the third stimulus check) be garnished by the TOP for child support arrears? 

No, past-due child support will not be garnished from your third stimulus payment under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.  However, if you are eligible for the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return because you didn’t get the first or second stimulus payments, those funds may be garnished for past-due child support.