Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Monday, August 20, 2001


An estimated $3.3 million in past due child support collected for Texas children

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn announced today that an estimated $3.3 million in delinquent child support has been collected by intercepting federal tax rebate checks from parents behind in their child support payments. The rebates are the result of President Bush's tax reduction plan. This amount represents approximately 20 percent of the estimated $16.5 million to be collected by the Office of the Attorney General's child support division by Oct. 11, 2001, when the last rebate checks are intercepted.

"Parents failing to pay their child support should know that my office will use every legal means to see that they own up to their responsibilities," said Attorney General Cornyn. "I will continue to work aggressively so that children receive the court ordered support they deserve."

The OAG's child support division regularly works with the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement to collect past due payments of child support from the tax refunds of parents who have been ordered to pay child support. The Federal Tax Refund Offset Program allows states to seize tax refund checks from parents according to federally established guidelines. This month for the first time, rebate checks resulting from the President's recently-passed tax bill were intercepted along with IRS refund checks that are collected on a regular basis throughout the year.

This year, out of 456,957 names submitted, the OAG has collected $103.7 million in IRS checks involving 108,514 delinquent parents, including the intercepted rebate and refund checks.

Speaking about the seizures, Attorney General Cornyn said, "The Federal Tax Refund Offset Program is another useful tool to ensure that parents live up to their moral and legal responsibility to support their children."

In addition to IRS interceptions, the OAG uses measures such as income withholding, license suspension and passport denial to compel compliance with child support court orders.

In the last two years, child support collections by the Attorney General's child support division have increased from $757 million in 1998 to $1.029 billion in 2000 - a 36 percent increase in only two years. The $161 million increase from 1999 to 2000 is the largest dollar increase in child support collections in the history of the Texas program. The OAG expects to have another record setting year in 2001 ending August 31.

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