New child support orders will look a little different this fall for your Payroll pros. That’s because state and tribal agencies will be required to use the revised Income Withholding for Support (IWO) form.
The IWO was revised last year. But the use of the new form has been optional so far. That’ll change on Sept. 30, 2021, when all orders must be issued on the form.
Because employers can be financially liable for child support withholding errors, it’s important that Payroll’s aware of the changes. Good news, though: Most of the updates should make withholding clearer and easier.
Here’s a rundown of the changes to pass along to your team.
Overview of updates
The effective date on the IWO form has been updated from a calendar entry to a text entry. This was done to emphasize that the IWO is effective on the date the form was received, the date of mailing or the date of service to the employer.
In addition, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) added a text box to the Remittance Information section of the IWO about payments in interstate cases. Here, Payroll will find info about where the payment should be sent.
OCSE also simplified wording on the IWO that provided employers with additional info about child support payments. The agency moved some of the text to the Remittance Information portion of the form for further clarity.
Convenience of child support portal
OCSE is also trying to encourage more employers to sign up to use its Child Support Portal. The portal makes it easier for Payroll to send and receive info relating to child support payments. It also aids with reporting any pending lump-sum payments to employees and reporting terminations.
To help promote use of the portal, OCSE added a link to the portal in the Lump Sum Payments section of the IWO. There’s also another link to the portal included in the Notification of Employment Termination or Income Status.
Plus, Payroll can use the portal to update your company’s contact info with OCSE. And multistate employers can use it to designate the state they’ve chosen for new-hire reporting.
Upcoming enhancements will make the portal even better for employers. This includes the ability for two-way communication between Payroll and child support agencies. OCSE says this will be ready by fall 2021.