10 FAQS About Coronavirus Stimulus Checks and Baby Assist

Behind your taxes? You get one Coronavirus stimulus check. Do you have criminal federal student loans? You still get a stimulus check.

But if you owe child benefit? You have probably heard that you will not receive a coronavirus check in this case. Or if someone owes you child benefit and their payment is confiscated by the IRS, you will receive it.

It is true that child support is the only type of debt that could get the IRS to confiscate your payment.

However, the IRS does not automatically know when someone misses a payment. And if a taxpayer is not reported to the IRS as criminal, their coronavirus check is not affected.

Here's what you need to know about stimulus checks if you owe child benefit or someone owes you something.

When can the IRS seize someone's coronavirus?

The IRS will only confiscate your corona virus check if you are in the Treasury Offset program due to unpaid child support payments. Think of it this way: If your tax refunds are confiscated because you owe child benefits, your corona virus check will also be carried out.

To get into this system, your state law enforcement agency needs to know that you are behind. This is the case if the legal guardian reported your non-payment or if you missed payments that you make directly to the state.

Your state will then send information about your missed payments to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, which reports that information to the Treasury.

How long does it take? It varies by state Seth C. Weston, a lawyer based in Roanoke, Virginia, whose practice includes family law.

"For example, the Virginia Department of Child Support Enforcement will generally not take enforcement action until $ 5,000 is behind," Weston said.

"It can take weeks or months," said Adam Turbowitz, a New York family attorney Aronson Mayefsky and Sloan, LLP. "In New York there is a huge (child benefit) backlog. We are talking about 30, 60 and 90 day backlogs."

The backlog is likely to get longer as most agencies have been working remotely or closed since mid-March.

Once you have been reported to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, you will receive a pre-notification with information on how to contest the debt before you officially join the Treasury Offset program.

10 FAQs on stimulus checks and child benefit

Here's what we know about coronavirus stimulus testing and child support.

1. If someone was recently in arrears on child support layoffs, would they get their coronavirus check?

It depends on how fast the state moves. However, if they become unemployed as part of the massive coronavirus job loss that has occurred since March, their coronavirus check is unlikely to be affected.

"If all of this happened in a four to six week period, it probably wouldn't be time to process that person's information in the federal system," Turbowitz said.

2. Will I be notified when my child coronavirus check is confiscated?

The IRS says the Bureau of the Fiscal Services will send you a letter. If you had offset tax refunds because you owed child benefit, you would have received a letter at that time.

You can call the Treasury Offset Program system at 800-304-3107 to see if you are there.

3. I currently have no income. Is there a hardship exception that allows me to receive my check?


4. My ex owes me child benefit. Does that mean I get your corona virus check?

Possibly, provided your ex was eligible for a check and your state has reported that he is in default for the Treasury Offset program.

When you receive your ex's tax refund, you will likely also receive the coronavirus check.

5. I have already received my corona virus check. Why didn't I get the extra money for unpaid child benefit from my ex-check?

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If your check is intercepted, it first goes to the government agency responsible for enforcing child benefit. This agency is then responsible for paying the check.

Weston expects the process to be the same as that used for intercepted tax refunds.

"The payment is usually sent to the recipient in the same way that the recipient receives his tax refund," he said.

6. If the other parent owes me something, will I get the full check?

Most states say that federal law requires them to be reimbursed first if someone owes both the state and a guardian the cost of child maintenance. But in California, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order The requirement that seized economic stimulus payments to the caring parent must go to the state.

If the person who owes you something owes someone else for child benefit, it can affect how much of their stimulus check you get.

Per tip

If you have any questions about coronavirus scans and childcare, start with your state childcare agency's website. Many have frequently asked questions about processing intercepted checks.

7. If I owe child benefit but have other children living with me, could the $ 500 child loan also be seized?

Yes. The $ 500 Tax credit for children's corona viruses is not separate from your corona virus check. So it can be confiscated with the rest of your payment.

8. I do not owe maintenance to children, but my spouse does and we submit a return. Will my $ 1,200 also be garnished?

You may not have submitted an application for relief to an injured spouse Form 8379 with your tax return. This is usually used when a couple's return home is confiscated through a debt, although only one spouse is legally responsible.

In this case, you will receive half of the payment when the IRS accepts your claim. Half of your spouse is used to compensate for unpaid child benefit. This happens automatically. You do not need to take any further action.

Even if you have already submitted your return for 2019, you can separately claim an injured spouse.

9. The person who owes me does not file a tax return. Could I get an additional payment on your behalf?

In order for you to receive the other parent's coronavirus payment, the IRS must determine that it is eligible for payment because it has submitted a return or used the payment Non-filer tool, or they qualified because they received government benefits such as Social security or SSI.

The IRS then intercepts the payment and sends it to the appropriate government enforcement agency. If the IRS does not have the information it needs to process a payment, e.g. For example, a tax return or a declaration of performance, you will not receive payment on his behalf.

10. If the other parent of my child owes me something, how soon can I get the intercepted check?

It depends on your state. The states are expected to receive the first intercepted checks in late April.

Many keep the checks for 30 days to process. If the non-caregiver who owes child benefit is married and has made a joint return, half of the payment will be distributed to the caring parent, but the IRS will need to wait 180 days before the other half can be distributed. This should give the person's spouse time to file a claim for an injured spouse. (See question 7.)

Let us assume that the parent who is not caring for the child is married and submits a return. The corona virus check is $ 2,400. You could get up to $ 1,200 initially. If the spouse of the non-caregiver does not receive relief for the injured spouse, you can receive the remaining $ 1,200 after 180 days.

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and senior editor at The Penny Hoarder. She writes the personal financial advice column Dear Penny.

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