This topic contains information on the following subjects:
Upon receipt of the Pre-Offset Notice (DSS-4495), the noncustodial parent (NCP) has sixty (60) days from the date of the notice to apply in writing for a hearing to contest the submittal of his/her case for federal and/or state tax intercept. When the NCP's refund is received from the N.C. Department of Revenue (DOR), the Notice To Debtor (DSS-4496) is automatically sent, and the NCP has an additional thirty (30) days from the date of the Notice To Debtor to contest the state tax intercept. Failure by the NCP to make a timely application for a hearing via a Petition To Appeal/Request A Hearing to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) is deemed a waiver of the opportunity to appeal.
When a noncustodial parent (NCP) receives the Pre-Offset Notice (DSS-4495) or the Notice To Debtor (DSS-4496) and elects to appeal the tax intercept (offset), the following procedure is used:
1. The NCP must submit a Petition To Appeal Tax Intercept/ Contested Case Hearing (DSS-4659) to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and send a copy of the Petition to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Both the DSS-4495 and the DSS-4496 notices contain the mailing addresses of these agencies. Health and Human Services (DHHS). If the NCP contacts local CSS to request the appeal hearing, CSS can generate the Petition To Appeal Tax Intercept (DSS-4659) and provide the NCP with the printed document, but CSS CANNOT assist the NCP with completing or mailing the Petition to OAH. (Instructions for completing and submitting this document are in the Petition.)
2. When the CSS Central Office receives the copy of the Petition, a State Tax Intercept Unit worker indicates the receipt and the fact that the appeal will be held in-state by documenting these facts in ACTS.
3. OAH notifies the State CSS Attorney where and when the appeal hearing is scheduled. The State CSS Attorney then notifies the State Tax Intercept Unit to schedule the hearing in ACTS.
4. OAH notifies the NCP of the location, date, and time of the appeal hearing. If the case is Non-TANF/Medicaid, the client is also notified of the hearing’s location, date, and time.
5. OAH holds the hearing. An appeal decision should be made within forty-five (45) days after the receipt of the Notice and documentation.
Also see the “Federal Tax Intercept (Offset) Being Appealed In Another State” section.
It is extremely important that the local CSS agency be fully prepared for the Tax Intercept hearing. Upon notification from the Attorney General's Office that an appeal has been filed, local CSS must provide the necessary information and documentation to the State CSS Attorney immediately. Such information can include:
1. The names of the NCP and client for the case;
2. CSS case (IV-D) number;
3. Case status;
4. Certified copies of the court order for support and any modifications;
5. Certified copies of ACTS payment records.
It is permissible to send non-certified copies initially. When necessary, the State CSS Attorney will request certified copies for the hearing or for a Motion For Summary Judgment.
Local CSS must provide the State CSS Attorney with a case summary. This summary should include information relevant to the court order, any modifications to the original order, payment history, enforcement attempts to recover arrearages, attempts to resolve the issue of whether or not the case is appropriate for tax intercept, etc.
When the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) completes a hearing, the administrative law judge makes a recommended decision, which is forwarded to the Chief of Hearings and Appeals for a final decision. OAH notifies the NCP along with the State CSS Attorney of the final decision. If the NCP decides to appeal that decision, he/she has thirty (30) days to appeal to the Superior Court in Wake County or the NCP's county of residence.
The State CSS Attorney notifies the Tax Intercept Unit at the CSS Central Office and the local CSS agency of the final decision after the appeal period ends. A Tax Intercept Unit worker documents the results of the appeal in ACTS.
When a tax intercept appeal is filed, a Tax Intercept Unit worker at the CSS Central Office makes changes in ACTS to ensure that intercept monies are not distributed while the appeal is pending. The Tax Intercept Unit worker schedules the appeal hearing in ACTS and, when the appeal is resolved, makes changes in ACTS that allow the intercept to proceed, be modified, or terminated.
The type of appeal hearing is based upon the type of intercept appeal. Once the appeal hearing has taken place and the decision is made, the result must be entered for the scheduled appeal hearing and that scheduled appeal hearing must be deleted.
The hearing result should not be entered in ACTS until thirty (30) days after the notice of hearing results have been provided to all parties. This allows for the 30-day time period that the CSS agency and NCP have to appeal the administrative decision.
If local CSS is able to resolve a case prior to a hearing, prompt notice should be given to the Tax Intercept Unit. The Tax Intercept Unit then notifies the State CSS Attorney that the need for a hearing has been eliminated.
In order to avoid unnecessary scheduling, it is important that OAH receive such notice at the earliest possible time. It is preferable that the NCP submit a written statement withdrawing the request for a hearing. However, if verbal notice is given that an appeal has been withdrawn, local CSS should submit a written notice to the Tax Intercept Unit, which then forwards this notice to the State CSS attorney, signed by either the NCP or the responsible CSS caseworker to confirm that the appeal was withdrawn. The Tax Intercept Unit must take the necessary actions to release the NCP's tax refund.
If an appeal is resolved prior to a hearing, the State Tax Intercept Unit worker who scheduled the appeal hearing in ACTS should delete the scheduled hearing by entering the appropriate disposition.
Once a final decision is rendered by the Chief Hearing Officer, local CSS or the NCP has an opportunity to file an appeal of the administrative decisions within thirty (30) days of the decision date.
An appeal of the final decision of the Chief Hearing Officer must be held in Wake County Superior Court or in the NCP's county of residence as prescribed by G.S. 150B-45.
If the administrative decision is appealed, the Tax Intercept Unit worker should not enter a disposition for the scheduled appeal hearing until after the appeal is heard and decided by the court.
The noncustodial parent (NCP) must file the federal tax intercept appeal in the state that submitted the intercept to the Financial Management Service (FMS). If the NCP disagrees, the NCP can file an appeal in the state with the child support order. If the NCP informs the local CSS caseworker that he/she wants to file a tax intercept appeal in the order state, the hearing is held in that state. The local caseworker should advise the NCP that the request must be in writing.
Once the NCP requests a Petition to Appeal Tax Intercept/Contested Case Hearing (DSS-4659) and submits the Petition to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), a copy is sent to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the CSS Central Office. The NCP is informed of this agency and its address in the Pre-Offset Notice (DSS-4495) and/or in the Notice To Debtor (DSS-4496).
The Office of Administrative Hearing (OAH) notifies the Attorney General's Office that the NCP has requested an administrative appeal hearing in the order state. The State CSS Attorney should immediately send a memorandum to the local CSS office requesting that the appeal be documented in ACTS. This memorandum also requests that specific documents such as a copy of the order and any modifications, a copy of the payment record, and in Non-TANF/Medicaid cases, the client's address be forwarded to the Attorney General's Office within twenty (20) days.
The Attorney General's office forwards all necessary paperwork to the Central Registry. The Central Registry generates and sends a CSE Transmittal #1 (DSS-4556) along with the appropriate documents to the Central Registry of the order state. This Transmittal informs the responding state of the name of the responsible caseworker. The Central Registry also informs the responsible local caseworker of the appeal and administrative review.
If the order state is a CSENet state, the request for administrative tax hearing is automatic once the local caseworker documents the appeal in ACTS.
NOTE: The CSENet state must have Enforcement functionality; otherwise, the manual transmission of the CSE Transmittal #1 (DSS-4556) is necessary.
The responding state must notify the NCP of the location, date, and time of the hearing. In Non-TANF/Medicaid cases, the client must also be notified of the location, date, and time of the hearing.
The responding state must make a decision within forty-five (45) days of the receipt of the documents and information from the submitting state.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.