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Tax Offsets

For more than a decade, the Franklin County CSEA has been actively pursuing delinquent child support obligors through the Federal and State Tax Offset Programs. These programs are designed to collect child support from those individuals who are in arrears on their support obligations.

For the Federal Program, submittal depends upon whether or not the custodial parent was on public assistance. In public assistance cases, the amount owed must be at least $150 with payments delinquent for thirty days. In non-public assistance cases, the amount owed must be at least $500. Effective October 1, 2007, all arrears-only cases (cases where there are no minor children subject to the current order) are eligible for Federal Tax Offset.

Under the Ohio Offset Program, the child support debt must be at least $150.

The CSEA's tax offset season begins each year during October, when letters go out to our delinquent non-custodial parents informing them of an anticipated tax garnishment action. These letters will bear our Franklin County letterhead but are actually sent out by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement from a list forwarded by the Ohio Office of Child Support.

Parents receiving the notice from the Office of Child Support Enforcement can also expect to receive a similar letter a week or two later from the Ohio Department of Taxation notifying them of an anticipated state income tax interception.

Recipients of these letters can request that the agency conduct a tax offset administrative review. Situations that can prevent the intercept of the obligor's tax refund include:

  • The most recent support order between the parties indicates that the arrearage was under the submission amount.
  • The obligor decides to pay the arrearage owed prior to tax offset submission.

Once an individual applies for an administrative review, the CSEA has 30 days to determine whether the case should remain eligible for the tax offset or be deleted from the program.

During tax offset season (which runs from October through November each year) the agency will also be submitting the names of certain obligors (those whose cases on the tax offset list reflect arrearages of $2,500 or more) to the U.S. State Department for action under the Passport Denial Program.

For tax year 2007, the Franklin County CSEA collected $7,169,000 through both the Federal and State Tax Offset Programs.

Marilyn Brown President
Paula Brooks
John O'Grady