Do You Get a 2021 COVID-19 Stimulus Check If You Owe Child Support?

As a child support attorney, I’ve been receiving a lot of calls and emails asking, “I owe my ex child back support. Will the state child support office take this upcoming stimulus check?” The answer in Minnesota is no.

Earlier in the week the House of Representatives still had to vote on the stimulus legislation, the American Rescue Plan. The legislation in its prior form states the federal stimulus rebate payments are not subject to the Federal Tax Refund Offset program just like the second stimulus payment received in 2020.

If a parent was behind on child support payments when first-round stimulus checks were sent in 2020, the IRS could have taken that stimulus money and used it to apply to child support arrears, or back payments. Rather than the money going purely to the obligee, or the parent owed the child support, it was first applied to any money owed to the State for any payments it was owed for child support and any extra was then sent to
the obligee.

Congress took the opposite path for the second round of stimulus checks. The COVID-Related Tax Relief Act required the payment to go directly to the parents without any of it being taken to pay overdue child support. Like the second round of stimulus payments, this third stimulus check will not be taken to pay child support arrears.

Perhaps to soften the blow that back child support is not going to be get paid with this third stimulus payment, people who filed taxes returns for tax years 2019 and 2020, the new legislation gives the taxpayer $1,400.00 per eligible dependent, no matter that dependent’s age, which is a bit higher than the prior two stimulus payments.

If you’d like to talk to a child support attorney call, Jessica Sterle at 218-722-2655 or Complete a Consultation Intake Form.

Jessica Sterle

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