OKLAHOMA CAPITOL -- Oklahoma intercepted tens of thousands of IRS economic stimulus payments this year to pay past-due child support. The payments contributed to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) intercepting a record $50 million in IRS funds. This is more than double any previous year’s IRS intercepts.
The result is also a record: 33,468 Oklahoma families will receive past-due child support from IRS intercepts this year. An additional 16,000 intercepts reimbursed Oklahoma for providing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). TANF is a public assistance program administered by OKDHS.
Of the $106.7 billion in economic stimulus payments nationally, Oklahoma intercepted $14,195,526. Although sizeable, the majority of the increase comes from 2 new intercept categories referred to the IRS.
Interest balances and non-minor child cases, combined with the stimulus payments, increased child support IRS intercepts by 116 percent. This is the largest ever single-year gain. Even without the stimulus payments, Oklahoma’s IRS intercepts increased 58 percent.
“The stimulus payments are a temporary boost to an already record year for IRS intercepts,” said Ronald Smith, programs manager. “The new categories are a large part of our success in automating child support IRS collections not only for this year, but years to come.”
Under Oklahoma law, past-due child support is subject to 10 percent annual interest. Oklahoma is one of the first states to intercept interest from the IRS. Non-minor child support cases are those without public assistance where the children are now adults.
In both instances, the intercepts help families. Some families receive 2 checks through IRS intercepts, one from a refund and another from an economic stimulus payment.
“With nearly every tax filer in Oklahoma receiving money from the IRS this year, it was an ideal time to expand this collection process,” Smith said.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Support Enforcement Division enhances the well-being of children through its mission to establish, monitor and enforce a reliable source of support for the families it serves. The division is currently responsible for more than 180,000 active child support cases.