The Minnesota Revenue Recapture Act: Little Brother Makes Good?
44 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2011
Date Written: January 1, 1986
Collection of child support entered the computer age in 1981 when Congress passed amendments to the Child Support Enforcement Act which allowed states to tap into the Internal Revenue Service income tax refunds to enforce child support obligations. The federal tax intercept program became a widely known, successful device to recoup funds for child support. However, its “little brothers,” statutes such as Minnesota Revenue Recapture Act which capture state refunds for similar purposes, have received much less attention. This article examines the Revenue Recapture Act as it has worked in practice. It discusses the policies which went into structuring the Act in its current form, briefly reviewing its legislative history. The article summarizes how the Act works and how responsibility for the program is divided. Finally, it makes suggestions for improvements in the Act. While the Act itself is an essential solid and simple statutory scheme, changes in the statute’s coverage and priorities, procedural protections, substantive defenses, and administration would improve the balance between values of efficiency and fairness on which the statute is based.
Keywords: child support, child support obligations, Child Support Enforcement Act, Minnesota Revenue Recapture Act, Internal Revenue Service, tax refunds
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