Wednesday, June 24, 2015

IWO and e-IWO Deadlines Draw Near for Employers

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In July 2014, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) released an updated version of the standard child support withholding order, Income Withholding for Support (IWO). This new version of the form will expire July 31, 2017.

The OCSE advised that states, tribes, and others should begin using the revised IWO immediately. However, employers and others were told they could continue to honor previous versions of the form for new child support orders until July 31, 2015.

Now that July 31, 2015, is almost here, what is a best practice for an employer that receives a new order on an old form after that date? Employers have discretion whether they want to accept a new order on an old form. Ideally, employers should return an old IWO to the sender and request they use the new form. Otherwise there is no incentive for a state child support enforcement agency, tribe, court, or other party to use the new IWO. Using standard orders helps employers maintain consistency and find the information they need more easily.

Federal law mandates that as of October 1, 2015 all states must use the electronic income withholding order (e-IWO). The e-IWO allows states and employers to exchange IWOs easily and securely. The OCSE has updated its list of states using the e-IWO as of June 1, 2015. Currently, 34 states are already using e-IWO. With the exception of South Carolina, the remaining 17 states not using e-IWO are currently developing e-IWO technology.

Read PayState Update: Issue No. 13, Vol. 17 for more on the IWOs and e-IWOs.