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Audit of Delinquent Noncustodial Parents' Tax Refund and Economic Impact Payment Intercepts

The Child Support Enforcement Program (the program) is a Federal, State, and local partnership, established in 1975 under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, to collect child support payments from noncustodial parents for distribution to custodial parents. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, provides qualifying individuals with a recovery rebate (economic impact payment) of up to $1,200 (or $2,400 if married and filing jointly), plus up to $500 for each qualifying child. Congress added a number of exemptions concerning the economic impact payments within the CARES Act; however, it did not exempt child support debt. According to estimates, up to 10.5 million noncustodial parents are delinquent in their payment of child support and could have their economic impact payments intercepted. Based on the significant impact that the CARES Act will have on the collection of delinquent child support due to the intercept of economic impact payments, we determined that the focus of our audit would be to determine whether selected State(s) have policies and procedures in place to ensure that State child support programs collected and distributed delinquent child support under the Federal Tax Refund Offset program. The failure to have effective procedures in place to ensure the collection and distribution of delinquent child support can result in essential child support funds not being provided to custodial parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
January 2021 Administration for Children and Families Audit of Delinquent Noncustodial Parents' Tax Refund and Economic Impact Payment Intercepts Office of Audit Services W-00-21-20030 2022