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Payroll deduction enhanced for support obligations

Many North Carolina families rely on payroll deductions to collect child support payments. In fact, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement estimates that 75 percent of the annual $33 billion in collected child support is handled via the payroll deduction program. The agency hopes to improve collection numbers with the implementation of new procedures designed to eliminate confusion and increase efficiency.

Individual states have differing limits placed on payroll deduction for child support. While the federal maximum is 50 percent, some states have lower limits. Historically, employers with locations in multiple states have been given leeway in reporting exact locations of employees. Unfortunately, this has led to miscalculations based on the different individual state protocols. New procedures require more precise inter-state reporting from employers.

Another historical inefficiency stems from outsourcing of payroll processing. Employers have tended to pass along employment verification requests to third-party administrators for processing. Some payroll administrators charge a premium for these additional services that can be a cost driver for state agencies. New guidelines clarify that employers are responsible for covering any fees associated with employment verification.

Hiring procedures have also been clarified by the OCSE. Employers are required to report new hires within 20 days of employment, but there has been some past confusion regarding the mixing of employer identification numbers for some entities with multiple divisions. Updated procedures require consistency in linking specific employees to a singular EIN. This will help streamline the collection process.

Accurate calculation and proper implementation of collection procedures is of concern to many single parents. If a noncustodial parent refuses to pay child support, a lawyer could help facilitate the enforcement process.

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