WSR 04-07-166



(     Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed March 23, 2004, 3:42 p.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: The Division of Child Support (DCS) is amending WAC 388-14A-5000 and other related rules dealing with the distribution of child support payments to clarify DCS' ability to delay distribution of collections via Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offset for a period of no more than six months. DCS may adopt new rules or repeal others as required.

     Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 26.23.035, 74.08.090, 74.20A.310, 45 C.F.R. 303.72 (h)(5).

     Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The IRS intercepts tax refunds of noncustodial parents who owe back child support; some of these refunds are from joint returns and the noncustodial parent's spouse may be entitled to some or all of the tax refund; when the IRS is required to return the intercepted refund to the "injured spouse," this can result in an overpayment of support, which can create a hardship for the custodial parent. By holding onto refunds for a period not to exceed six months, DCS will be better able to determine which refunds are subject to an injured spouse claim and thus avoid overpayments.

     Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

     Process for Developing New Rule: DCS engages in modified collaborative rule making. Those persons wishing to participate in developing new rules are encouraged to contact Nancy Koptur at the DSHS Division of Child Support (DCS) Headquarters as soon as possible. DCS will post information regarding this rule development project and others on its website, which can be found at, or on the DSHS Economic Services Administration's policy review website, which can be found at DSHS/DCS encourages the public to take part in developing the rules. At a later date, DSHS will file proposed rules with the Office of the Code Reviser with a notice of proposed rule making, and will send the proposal to everyone currently on the mailing list and to anyone else who requests a copy.

     Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Nancy Koptur, DCS Rules Coordinator, Division of Child Support, P.O. Box 9162, Mailstop 45860, phone (360) 664-5065, 1-800-457-6202, fax (360) 664-5055, e-mail, TTY/TDD (360) 664-5011.

March 23, 2004

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit