How to Stop Child Support From Taking Your Tax Refund

Child Support and Tax Refunds

If you did not receive as big of a tax refund as you expected last year, or perhaps even no refund at all, it could be because you are behind on your child support payments in Missouri. Under Federal Law, the Family Support Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services has the right to intercept tax refunds from the IRS in order to collect and pay past-due support. When this happens, the Family Support Division (FSD) contacts the IRS and withholds the past-due child support amount from the refund. The IRS then adjusts the amount of the tax refund. The FSD may hold the return for up to six months if a joint-return was filed and it can become a fairly complex and lengthy process.

If you received a full refund and the amount was later flagged and adjusted, you may have to pay back all or a portion of your refund. If you are currently dealing with this situation, or are concerned about trying to avoid it for the coming tax year, it’s important to understand what the state and the federal government can withhold and if there is anything that you can do about it. The information in this article is intended to be general. However, if you would like personalized feedback based on your specific situation, you are welcome to contact the experienced family law attorneys at Johnson Law to schedule a consultation

Have Back-Child Support Payments? Here’s How to Protect Your Tax Refund  

Unfortunately, there is only so much that you can do to protect your tax refund against withholding, as federal law authorizes withholding when you are behind on child support payments. For that reason, the best thing you can do is talk to an expert attorney and start planning early. If you are able to catch up on your child support payments then you may be able to appeal the withholding as the government will no longer have a basis on which to withhold payment.

If you pay off the debt that is owed, then the custodial parent can file an affidavit of credit with the court, showing that they received all owed child support payments. Additionally, you may be able to negotiate a payment settlement with your co-parent. For instance, if you owe $8,000 in child support, you may be able to settle the debt for a lesser amount, such as $5,500, or whatever you can actually afford to pay. The court must usually review and approve of such settlements, but provided that it is in the best interest of the child they will grant it. Regardless of your circumstances, it is always best to talk with a lawyer in order to determine what options may be available to you. 

Talk to an Experienced Missouri Child Custody Attorney

If you require assistance with a child custody-related matter, the experienced Missouri divorce attorneys at Johnson Law Firm are ready to help. Our attorneys will help you navigate this process and ensure that your taxes and affairs are in order even as the shape of your life continues to shift. Contact our lawyers today to schedule a consultation.