State tax refund offset
The state tax refund offset program, also known as revenue recapture, is a tool that the child support office uses to collect past due child support, also called arrears. The child support office can file a claim against a parent who owes arrears and take all or a portion of the parent's Minnesota:
- State income tax refund
- Property tax refund
- Renter's credit refund
- Lottery winnings over $600
- Political contribution refund.
The child support office can do this if any of the following is true. The amount of arrears the parent owes:
- Is more than one month of total court-ordered child support or maintenance payments, or both
- Is at least $25 for arrears-only cases
- Have been docketed as a judgment.
The child support office will send a Revenue Recapture Notice to the parent who owes arrears. This tells the parent that the child support office has or will file a claim with the Minnesota Department of Revenue for the amount of child support arrears. The notice explains the parent's right to review. It also explains what will happen if the parent does not pay their arrears or take action.
When the Revenue Department offsets a state tax refund, it will send a notice to the parent when the amount collected is sent to the child support office.
State law requires the Revenue Department to charge the parent a $15 fee when it offsets a state tax refund to pay child support arrears. The fee is deducted from the amount collected before the money is sent to the child support office.
When the child support office receives the offset funds, it applies the money to all of the parent's cases that qualify for a state tax refund offset. The child support office may hold the funds up to six months before releasing a payment to the custodial parent.
The state child support office does not hold funds received from the offset of a single state tax refund.
The state child support office holds funds received from the offset of a joint Minnesota state tax refund for six months or until one of the following occur:
- The non-obligated spouse of the parent who owes arrears files an Injured Spouse Claim with the child support office
- The non-obligated spouse of the parent who owes arrears completes an Injured Spouse Waiver of Claim to State Tax Intercept, which releases their claim to their portion of the joint state tax refund offset and allows the child support office to send a payment to the custodial parent.
If the non-obligated spouse of the parent who owes arrears does not file either a claim or waiver within six months, the child support office will release the funds.
Filing an Injured Spouse Claim
If you filed a joint tax return with a spouse who owes arrears, as the non-obligated spouse you can file an Injured Spouse Claim. An Injured Spouse Claim prorates refunds from joint tax returns so your portion of the tax refund is not used to pay the child support obligation. You must file an Injured Spouse Claim with the child support office that handles the case.
Waiving an Injured Spouse Claim
As the non-obligated spouse of a parent who owes arrears, you may choose to waive your claim to your portion of the tax refund by completing the Injured Spouse Waiver of Claim to State Tax Intercept. You can contact the child support office that handles the case to learn what is required to waive the claim. The child support office will release the funds after it receives the signed form.
The child support office will not do this if any of the following is true:
- The case does not meet the criteria
- A court order prohibits use of state tax refund offset.
State laws can be found on the Minnesota Office of Revisor of Statutes website.
- 45 Code of Federal Regulations, section 303.102
- 11 United States Code, section 362(b)
- 42 United States Code, section 666(a)(3)(A)
- Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 270A
- Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 290A
- Minnesota Statutes, section 349A.08, subdivision 8
- Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.61