Offset of Tax Refund Payments To Collect Certain Debts Owed to States, 55751-55752 [2015-23305]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 180 / Thursday, September 17, 2015 / Rules and Regulations PART 938—PENNSYLVANIA 1. The authority citation for Part 938 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq. § 938.16 [Amended] 2. Section 938.16 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (h). ■ [FR Doc. 2015–23118 Filed 9–16–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–05–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Fiscal Service 31 CFR Part 285 RIN 1530–AA02 Offset of Tax Refund Payments To Collect Certain Debts Owed to States Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Fiscal Service, Treasury. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This final rule adopts the interim rule, published in the Federal Register on January 28, 2011, concerning the collection of delinquent State unemployment compensation debts through the offset of overpayments of Federal taxes. DATES: This rule is effective September 17, 2015. ADDRESSES: In accordance with the U.S. government’s eRulemaking Initiative, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service publishes rulemaking information on http://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Kobielus, Manager, Treasury Offset Program Debt Policy Branch, Treasury Offset Program Division, Debt Collection Program Management Directorate, Debt Management Services, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, at (202) 874–6810, or Michelle M. Cordeiro, Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, at (202) 874–6680. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: I. Background This rule implements the authority added by the SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act of 2008 (‘‘2008 Act’’), as amended by the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 (‘‘2010 Act’’), to offset overpayments of Federal taxes (referred to as ‘‘tax refund offset’’) to collect delinquent state unemployment compensation debts. The Department of the Treasury (‘‘Treasury’’) has incorporated the procedures necessary to collect state unemployment compensation debts as part of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:04 Sep 16, 2015 Jkt 235001 Treasury Offset Program, a centralized offset program operated by Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (‘‘Fiscal Service’’). On January 28, 2011, Fiscal Service (then, the Financial Management Service) published an interim rule with request for comments at 76 FR 5070, implementing this new authority. Specifically, this rule amended Fiscal Service regulations to include unemployment compensation debts among the types of state debts that may be collected by tax refund offset. II. Summary of Comments Received and Treasury’s Responses Treasury sought comments on all aspects of the proposed rule. Treasury received comments from one private company that provides worldwide tax services. The following is a discussion of the substantive issues raised in the comments. 1. Notice The commenter suggested that the rule provide guidelines to the states regarding how to notify debtor populations who may be affected by this rule. While this comment is outside the scope of this rule, Fiscal Service notes that this rule requires debtor-specific pre-offset notification (see 31 CFR 285.8(c)(3)(i)). The commenter also suggested that Fiscal Service mandate that states provide a pre-offset notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. In the 2010 Act, Congress explicitly removed this requirement in the case of unemployment compensation debt. Fiscal Service is unaware of any evidence that certified mail is more likely to reach the debtor than is regular first class mail, and notes that the cost of sending a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, is high relative to sending a notice by regular first class mail. Therefore, Fiscal Service has not adopted this suggestion. As required by statute, however, notice must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested prior to pursuing Federal tax refund offset to collect delinquent state income tax obligations. The commenter also suggested that Fiscal Service mandate that the notice to the debtor include certain details about the debt. Fiscal Service notes that, prior to submitting a debt to the Treasury Offset Program for tax refund offset purposes, a state is required to certify to Fiscal Service that it has provided the debtor with sufficient due process, including identification of the debt the state seeks to collect by offset. The information that must be provided may differ with the specific circumstances, and states may provide notice beyond PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 55751 what is specifically required by statute and regulation. Because identification of the debt is already required, Fiscal Service has not incorporated this suggestion. 2. Reasonable Efforts The commenter suggested that this rule provide specific actions that states should take and state what documentation they should retain to demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to collect a debt prior to pursuing Federal tax refund offset. The rule provides detail on what a reasonable effort includes—namely, making written demand on the debtor for payment and following state law and procedure. In addition, the rule was designed to provide flexibility because what constitutes a reasonable effort may differ based on the specific circumstances. Therefore, Fiscal Service believes that providing specific actions that states should take is unnecessary and not practicable and has not adopted this suggestion. 3. Central Repository for Information The commenter suggested that debtors be able to obtain information through a centralized location within the Treasury Offset Program Web site and through an automated telephone system on why their payment was offset and on state appeals processes. While this suggestion is outside the scope of this rule, Fiscal Service notes that debtors currently may access certain offset information through an automated telephone system. Fiscal Service further notes that it is exploring other self-service options that would permit debtors to obtain information about their own debts. 4. Other Concerns The commenter suggested that the description of the required appeal process contain more detail. Fiscal Service is not aware of any additional detail that needs to be included and, therefore, has not made any changes to the rule based on this suggestion. The commenter also suggested that Fiscal Service consider extending the period of dispute to 90 days because debtors are unlikely to have retained records for long periods of time. Fiscal Service notes that several other delinquent debt collection tools provide a due process period of 60 days or fewer, including the offset of Federal nontax payments to collect Federal nontax debts (31 CFR 285.5(d)(6)(ii)(A)); the offset of Federal nontax payments to collect state debts (31 CFR 285.6(e)(2)); the offset of Federal tax payments to collect Federal nontax debts (31 CFR 285.2(d)(1)(ii)(B)); and the E:\FR\FM\17SER1.SGM 17SER1 55752 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 180 / Thursday, September 17, 2015 / Rules and Regulations administrative garnishment of wages to collect Federal nontax debts (31 U.S.C. 3720D(b)(2)). Moreover, Fiscal Service believes that an additional 30 days is not likely to help debtors locate and produce such records, and is not aware of any evidence that 60 days is insufficient. Given the time period for other debt collection tools, Fiscal Service believes it would be best to leave the interim rule unchanged. The commenter also expressed concern that lifting the 10-year time limitation will create burdens for Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service, due to an increase in injured spouse claims. Fiscal Service is unaware of any evidence to support this concern. Fiscal Service further notes that the 10-year limitation was removed by statute. Procedural Matters This rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866. Because no notice of proposed rulemaking was required for this rule, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federalism This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 13132, federalism. This rule will not have substantial direct effects on states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Participation in the program governed by this rule is voluntary for the states; this rule only sets forth the general procedures for state participation. States already participate in offset of tax refunds to collect delinquent state income tax obligations pursuant to 31 CFR 285.8. This rule merely updates the regulations to reflect the statutory change authorizing states to submit additional debts to Treasury Offset Program for collection by tax refund offset. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. For the reasons stated above, the interim rule amending 31 CFR 285.8, published at 76 FR 5070, January 28, 2011, is adopted as final without change. David A. Lebryk, Fiscal Assistant Secretary. [FR Doc. 2015–23305 Filed 9–16–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–AS–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:04 Sep 16, 2015 Jkt 235001 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 86 [Docket ID: DOD–2014–OS–0009] RIN 0790–AJ19 Background Checks on Individuals in DoD Child Care Services Programs Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This rule establishes and updates policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures to conduct criminal history checks on individuals involved in the provision of child care services for children under the age of 18 in DoD programs. The Crime Control Act of 1990 (Act) requires all individuals involved with the provision of child care services to children under the age of 18 undergo a criminal background check. ‘‘Child care services’’ include, but are not limited to, social services, health and mental health care, child (day) care, education (whether or not directly involved in teaching), and rehabilitative programs. Any conviction for a sex crime, an offense involving a child victim, or a drug felony, may be grounds for denying employment or for dismissal of an employee providing any of the services discussed above. DATES: This rule is effective October 19, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Morgan, 571–372–0859. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Executive Summary The purpose of this regulatory action is to describe requirements for criminal history background checks, including reinvestigation, and self-reporting, for individuals involved with the provision of child care services. The legal authorities for this rule include: 5 U.S.C. 2105, 10 U.S.C. chapter 47, 42 U.S.C. 13041. The major provisions of this regulatory action include providing procedures for requirements for criminal history background checks listing the types of background checks, and descriptions of reinvestigation and self-reporting. This rule is intended to support the workforce mission of the DoD and implement current law that covers individuals expected to have regular contact with children in the performance of child care services on a DoD installation or DoD-sanctioned program. The estimated costs of the rule PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 are $10 million annually. This cost includes administration costs; required FBI fingerprint Investigations Child Care National Agency Check and Inquiries checks ($125/NACI); State Criminal History Repository checks ($25/each state the individual resided in); and periodic reinvestigations. We do not believe that this rule will impose substantial direct costs on state and local governments. This rule is part of DoD’s retrospective plan, completed in August 2011, under Executive Order 13563, ‘‘Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.’’ DoD’s full plan and updates can be accessed at: http:// www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct =FR+PR+N+O+SR;rpp=10;po=0;D =DOD-2011-OS-0036. Public Comments The Department of Defense published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on October 1, 2014 (79 FR 59168–59173) for a 60-day public comment period. We received 22 comments. Five comments expressed support for the rule and no response is required. One comment was withdrawn. The remaining comments are listed below. Comment ID DOD–2014–OS–0009– 0003: • The law still states that any conviction for a sex crime, an offense involving a child victim, or a drug felony, may be grounds for denying employment or for dismissal of an employee. Public Law 101–647. The word may give too much flexibility in the decision making process to hiring agents in determining what to do with results of the background check. The review board may either bar employment based on the offenses listed out in the statute or excuse the background check results. Agency processes should spell out more specifically which offenses are bars and which are not. Response: The commenter has referenced the summary paragraph at the beginning of the rule, which is not the rule itself. Please see § 86.6(c) for specific criteria for automatic and presumptive disqualifiers, which does not use the term, ‘‘may.’’ • It is imperative that a thorough review, investigation and study of different systems for background checks is completed on each organization interacting with children. Response: This rule/policy was developed in collaboration with the Military Services, which are responsible for providing detailed procedures that meet the overall DoD requirements in this rule to ensure the rule/policy is implemented correctly. E:\FR\FM\17SER1.SGM 17SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 180 (Thursday, September 17, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 55751-55752]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-23305]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Fiscal Service

31 CFR Part 285

RIN 1530-AA02


Offset of Tax Refund Payments To Collect Certain Debts Owed to 
States

AGENCY: Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Fiscal Service, Treasury.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This final rule adopts the interim rule, published in the 
Federal Register on January 28, 2011, concerning the collection of 
delinquent State unemployment compensation debts through the offset of 
overpayments of Federal taxes.

DATES: This rule is effective September 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES: In accordance with the U.S. government's eRulemaking 
Initiative, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service publishes rulemaking 
information on http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Kobielus, Manager, Treasury 
Offset Program Debt Policy Branch, Treasury Offset Program Division, 
Debt Collection Program Management Directorate, Debt Management 
Services, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, at (202) 874-6810, or Michelle 
M. Cordeiro, Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, Bureau of the Fiscal 
Service, at (202) 874-6680.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    This rule implements the authority added by the SSI Extension for 
Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act of 2008 (``2008 Act''), as amended by 
the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 (``2010 Act''), to offset 
overpayments of Federal taxes (referred to as ``tax refund offset'') to 
collect delinquent state unemployment compensation debts. The 
Department of the Treasury (``Treasury'') has incorporated the 
procedures necessary to collect state unemployment compensation debts 
as part of the Treasury Offset Program, a centralized offset program 
operated by Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service (``Fiscal 
Service'').
    On January 28, 2011, Fiscal Service (then, the Financial Management 
Service) published an interim rule with request for comments at 76 FR 
5070, implementing this new authority. Specifically, this rule amended 
Fiscal Service regulations to include unemployment compensation debts 
among the types of state debts that may be collected by tax refund 
offset.

II. Summary of Comments Received and Treasury's Responses

    Treasury sought comments on all aspects of the proposed rule. 
Treasury received comments from one private company that provides 
worldwide tax services. The following is a discussion of the 
substantive issues raised in the comments.

1. Notice

    The commenter suggested that the rule provide guidelines to the 
states regarding how to notify debtor populations who may be affected 
by this rule. While this comment is outside the scope of this rule, 
Fiscal Service notes that this rule requires debtor-specific pre-offset 
notification (see 31 CFR 285.8(c)(3)(i)). The commenter also suggested 
that Fiscal Service mandate that states provide a pre-offset notice by 
certified mail, return receipt requested. In the 2010 Act, Congress 
explicitly removed this requirement in the case of unemployment 
compensation debt. Fiscal Service is unaware of any evidence that 
certified mail is more likely to reach the debtor than is regular first 
class mail, and notes that the cost of sending a notice by certified 
mail, return receipt requested, is high relative to sending a notice by 
regular first class mail. Therefore, Fiscal Service has not adopted 
this suggestion. As required by statute, however, notice must be sent 
by certified mail, return receipt requested prior to pursuing Federal 
tax refund offset to collect delinquent state income tax obligations.
    The commenter also suggested that Fiscal Service mandate that the 
notice to the debtor include certain details about the debt. Fiscal 
Service notes that, prior to submitting a debt to the Treasury Offset 
Program for tax refund offset purposes, a state is required to certify 
to Fiscal Service that it has provided the debtor with sufficient due 
process, including identification of the debt the state seeks to 
collect by offset. The information that must be provided may differ 
with the specific circumstances, and states may provide notice beyond 
what is specifically required by statute and regulation. Because 
identification of the debt is already required, Fiscal Service has not 
incorporated this suggestion.

2. Reasonable Efforts

    The commenter suggested that this rule provide specific actions 
that states should take and state what documentation they should retain 
to demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to collect a debt 
prior to pursuing Federal tax refund offset. The rule provides detail 
on what a reasonable effort includes--namely, making written demand on 
the debtor for payment and following state law and procedure. In 
addition, the rule was designed to provide flexibility because what 
constitutes a reasonable effort may differ based on the specific 
circumstances. Therefore, Fiscal Service believes that providing 
specific actions that states should take is unnecessary and not 
practicable and has not adopted this suggestion.

3. Central Repository for Information

    The commenter suggested that debtors be able to obtain information 
through a centralized location within the Treasury Offset Program Web 
site and through an automated telephone system on why their payment was 
offset and on state appeals processes. While this suggestion is outside 
the scope of this rule, Fiscal Service notes that debtors currently may 
access certain offset information through an automated telephone 
system. Fiscal Service further notes that it is exploring other self-
service options that would permit debtors to obtain information about 
their own debts.

4. Other Concerns

    The commenter suggested that the description of the required appeal 
process contain more detail. Fiscal Service is not aware of any 
additional detail that needs to be included and, therefore, has not 
made any changes to the rule based on this suggestion.
    The commenter also suggested that Fiscal Service consider extending 
the period of dispute to 90 days because debtors are unlikely to have 
retained records for long periods of time. Fiscal Service notes that 
several other delinquent debt collection tools provide a due process 
period of 60 days or fewer, including the offset of Federal nontax 
payments to collect Federal nontax debts (31 CFR 285.5(d)(6)(ii)(A)); 
the offset of Federal nontax payments to collect state debts (31 CFR 
285.6(e)(2)); the offset of Federal tax payments to collect Federal 
nontax debts (31 CFR 285.2(d)(1)(ii)(B)); and the

[[Page 55752]]

administrative garnishment of wages to collect Federal nontax debts (31 
U.S.C. 3720D(b)(2)). Moreover, Fiscal Service believes that an 
additional 30 days is not likely to help debtors locate and produce 
such records, and is not aware of any evidence that 60 days is 
insufficient. Given the time period for other debt collection tools, 
Fiscal Service believes it would be best to leave the interim rule 
unchanged.
    The commenter also expressed concern that lifting the 10-year time 
limitation will create burdens for Treasury's Internal Revenue Service, 
due to an increase in injured spouse claims. Fiscal Service is unaware 
of any evidence to support this concern. Fiscal Service further notes 
that the 10-year limitation was removed by statute.
Procedural Matters
    This rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined in 
Executive Order 12866. Because no notice of proposed rulemaking was 
required for this rule, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.
Federalism
    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 13132, 
federalism. This rule will not have substantial direct effects on 
states, on the relationship between the national government and the 
states, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Participation in the program governed by 
this rule is voluntary for the states; this rule only sets forth the 
general procedures for state participation. States already participate 
in offset of tax refunds to collect delinquent state income tax 
obligations pursuant to 31 CFR 285.8. This rule merely updates the 
regulations to reflect the statutory change authorizing states to 
submit additional debts to Treasury Offset Program for collection by 
tax refund offset. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, 
it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism 
implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact 
statement.
    For the reasons stated above, the interim rule amending 31 CFR 
285.8, published at 76 FR 5070, January 28, 2011, is adopted as final 
without change.

David A. Lebryk,
Fiscal Assistant Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-23305 Filed 9-16-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-AS-P