Skip to comments.State Seizes Thousands of Stimulus Checks (Owed Child Support to a Mainer) Child Support)
Posted on 06/06/2008 5:31:51 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
AUGUSTA Thousands of Mainers who were expecting a stimulus check from the federal government have gotten an unpleasant surprise. Instead of a check, they received a notice that the money has been seized by the state to pay overdue taxes or some other obligation, including child support.
"As of this afternoon, we have a total of 1,137 stimulus refunds" that were seized, Jerome Gerard, acting executive director of Maine Revenue Services, the states tax agency, said Thursday. "Thats a total of $624,000 so far."
Another state agency that benefits from the "offset" provisions of federal law is the support enforcement unit of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is charged with making sure parents pay the child support that has been ordered by a judge. As of May 23, the unit had received nearly $1.2 million from stimulus payments that were diverted from 1,855 individuals, both in Maine and out of state, who owed child support to a Mainer.
"We had estimated we would get about $1.5 million," Barbara Van Burgel, director of the DHHS Bureau of Family Independence, said Thursday. "I think its clear we will see more than that when the program ends."
Gerard estimated that the number of stimulus refunds seized by the tax agency will at least double by the time the last checks, based on those who filed federal tax returns by April 15, are mailed in mid-July. The Internal Revenue Service will continue to send checks to those who file their returns by Oct. 15, 2008.
"So we will continue to get some offsets for several months," Gerard said. "I would guess the final numbers will be between $1,250,000 and $1,750,000."
He said the state also received money that was destined for direct deposit to the accounts of some Mainers who were scheduled to receive them last month. Instead, they received a mailed notice that their stimulus money had been diverted to pay an obligation they owed the state.
"They have a right to appeal that and I am sure some will," Gerard said. "We always have some that appeal when their income tax refunds are offset."
He said Maine has already issued some checks to correct mistakes in which individuals had met their obligations but still had the stimulus payment taken by the state.
"We always have some timing issues, but they are taken care of," he said.
Van Burgel said one reason the DHHS support enforcement unit is likely to receive more than originally estimated is the federal requirement that a person file an income tax return to get a stimulus payment. She said many low-income Mainers do not normally bother to file a tax return because they have no tax liability.
While more than $1 million is significant to the families who receive the payments, it is quite small compared with the overall child support enforcement effort of the state. Van Burgel noted that last year the state collected $110 million from parents who owed child support.
Gerard said the past-due taxes being collected through the offsetting of stimulus payments is also small compared with all tax collection efforts of the state. He estimated that as much as $65 million in overdue taxes of all types will be collected by Maine Revenue Services this year.
"But it is important to collect what is owed," he said. "This is just one more tool we have this year."
Van Burgel said the collection of past-due child support is crucial to those parents who have custody of children.
"It is one of the ways that families stay above the poverty line," she said. "It is a way that they keep their children clothed and fed. It is a critical program."
Van Burgel said some custodial parents have called and expressed surprise when they received the money from the stimulus offset. She said in these tough economic times with high energy bills, she is happy the parents are getting a little extra help.
What if a person owed back taxes and child support? Is it "all about the children" as the priority recipients?
Please Excuse the poorly edited headline!
The usual family court royal screwing of men.
That's a fine question.
How does the state “intercept” a stimulus check? That sounds like “theft of mail” which is a class d felony.
How serious is the non=child support problem??
- any numbers? - and what states are worst??
I can’t even cash my little Federal tax refund check without my wife’s signature.
Isn’t putting it back in the government coffers , defeating the purpose?
Several years ago, our ex son-in-law, an employed engineer making big bucks, refused to pay his child support because he had not wanted the divorce. It was a very modest sum, but he withheld it until it amounted to thousands.
When, over a year after the court ordered him to pay, the police finally picked him up, he parked his fanny in jail for a week until he miraculously came up with over $10,000.
Maine goes after men who won’t/can’t pay their Court ordered child support. They DON’T go after the women as aggressively.
THE THEIR ECONOMY, stupid.
One real negative case scenario against POLYGAMY.
If I might hazard a guess, I suspect that the way the federal government urged everybody to come forward and file in order to collect a stimulus check was partly a ruse to find those who owed money to government for one thing or another.
Nope: They're never mailed to you. The funds are "intercepted" by the Feds and given to the states.
Not just that, but to track down folks who had been lost track of by the 'system'.
Folks who work for cash and who haven't been filing tax returns or paying social security for a number of years were kind enough to turn themselves in.
The 'stimulus' payments will probably turn out to be a profit center for the government in the long run.
BS. Deadbeats that don’t support what they had fun obtaining are not REAL DADS.
Child support always comes before back taxes.
Georgia Dept. of Revenue collected over $4 million in stimulus checks just in May from 16,000 taxpayers, more than any other state.
The best and the brightest in Maine aspire to grow up and buy a skidder.
Few ever do.
Most don't grow up at all and so become career Democrats.
or similar kinds of layabouts.
If you received Temporary Cash Assistance, any child support payments collected will be kept by the State as reimbursement so says Maryland.
Back in 1993 thousands in a town next to the former Subic Bay Naval Station, instead of pressing individual paternity or child-support suits; they filed a $68 million lawsuit arguing that the United States has a legal responsibility to educate and provide medical care for an estimated 8,600 Amerasians in Olongapo. --Abandoned Filipinos Sue U.S. Over Child Support. Argument made American taxpayers are not responsible for foreigners conceived by consenting adults. The United States was chosen as the defendant, as had more money than the fathers do. Mercedes Gervacio, who has four Amerasian children, teaches other mothers how to sell candy on the street to earn $3 or $4 a day. She said one boyfriend talked of marriage, "but it was just a promise."
But, am getting a little off track now.