If you follow the money, then collecting child support through wage withholding is a resounding success. According to recent statistics released by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), 70% of child support is collected through wage withholding. Even so, some deadbeat parents slip through the cracks.
To catch them, the OCSE has formed an alliance with employers to implement its newest program—the Passport Denial Program.
Pay on your way out. Under the program, the Department of State holds the passport applications of deadbeat parents who owe more than $2,500 in back child support.
The OCSE reports that to remove the hold, employers are paying employees’ back child support so employees can travel overseas on business.
In a recent report, OCSE notes that some of these amounts are staggering:
- An Illinois employer paid $12,000 so an employee could travel on business to the Mideast.
- An employer in California paid $60,000 so an employee could take a job in Europe.
- A New York employer paid more than $158,000 so an employee could make a business trip to Southeast Asia.
YES, IT’S TAXABLE: While those employers were extremely generous to their employees, the payments can be considered bonuses, which are, of course, fully taxable. Advice: If an employee is planning to travel overseas, inquire whether the company has paid any back child support. If it has, withhold the proper taxes from other pay the employee receives.