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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Debt Collection Improvement Act

Term Definition Debt Collection Improvement Act - a 1996 federal act that authorizes the Department of the Treasury to withhold tax refunds to cover delinquent tax refunds to cover delinquent child support.
Application in Divorce Delinquent child support has became a major problem in America. All states have now passed the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, which coordinates state efforts a enforcement of child support.

This Debt Collection Improvement Act expedites the collection of delinquent child support by authorizing the Internal Revenue Service to withhold income tax refunds to taxpayers who are delinquent in their child support. The Debt Collection Improvement Act makes a tax refund intercept a sharp tool in the collection of delinquent support. State and federal income tax refunds can be taken directly from a tax refund of a delinquent spouse.

Other child support enforcement tools include attachments, which are liens against property; garnishments, which are wage withholding orders; security or bonds, which are guarantees of future payment. Child support cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. Both civil and criminal contempt of court are extreme actions taken in the face of delinquent support.

See also ACSES; ACES.

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