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OCSE tweaks collection system

Parents in Arizona who pay or receive child support may be interested to learn that almost $33 billion of child support was collected in the federal fiscal year 2016. According to a representative of the Office of Child Support Enforcement, 75 percent of the support that was collected was obtained through income withholding. The OCSE is taking certain steps and collaborating with payroll businesses and professionals to make sure the income withholding collection process continues to yield good results.

Verification requests sent to employers are used to obtain information about withholding, wages and the availability of the health insurance. Many requests from child-support agencies are routinely processed by third-party processors that have been hired by employers. The agencies object to fees that are being charged by the third-party processors. Although the OCSE is working with all parties involved for a mutually agreeable solution, states are on the verge of issuing notices to remind employers that addressing the verification requests is their responsibility and that states will not pay the fees charged by the third parties.

The practice of some employers to use one federal employer identification number when reporting new employees or rehired employees while using another number when submitting quarterly wage reports creates duplicate records in the National Directory of New Hires. This can make it difficult for states to verify if the employers are in compliance with reporting new hires (who may owe support) within the mandated time frame, typically within 20 days. The OCSE states that employers should use the identical EIN when completing the quarterly report for new hires.

An attorney who practices family law may advise clients about how to resolve disputes regarding child support. Legal counsel could file the appropriate court orders to compel the responsible party to submit payments.

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