IRS Collects Child Support

Today TaxMama hears from Tina in Washington State, who has a problem. “Does the IRS track past due child support? Will IRS route the non-custodial parents arrearages to the custodial parent from tax returns and/or the economic stimulus check?”

Dear Tina,

Based on stories you may have heard about IRS grabbing taxpayers’ refunds for past due alimony or child support, that’s probably the impression you get.

But, no. IRS doesn’t have any way to track unpaid personal obligations. Nor is this something they’re interested in arranging.

What does IRS do? They have arrangements with various government agencies, like state tax authorities or key state agencies, the Social Security Administration and so forth, to collect debts on their books.
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So why does IRS seem to collect marital debts? Your state or district attorney gets involved with your complaint – particularly when you are on welfare or government aid because you can’t pay your living expenses because you’re not getting the child support or alimony the court ordered.

When the state has to support you – they want their money back. When they can’t get the money back – they call in the big guns – IRS and the state taxing agencies. Those folks are empowered to grab the refunds and turn them over to the DA’s family units.

Then, it takes months to filter back down to you, if there is any money left when the state takes back their costs, and their share of the support.

If you’re looking for help – start with your Washington State Division of Child Support.
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They provide full enforcement and collection services for child support.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about unpaid child support and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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