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June-July Child Support Report Discusses Payroll Software and Deductions

BY: Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq. | 07/21/20

Payroll Software and Child Support Deductions,” written by APA member Karen Settembrino, CPP, Principal Applications Engineer for Oracle Corp., is featured in the “Employer Corner” column of the June-July Child Support Report, a monthly e‑newsletter published by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. Settembrino wrote the article as a member of APA’s Government Relations Task Force (GRTF) Child Support and Other Garnishments Subcommittee.

Even though payroll systems are programmed to calculate child support withholding, Settembrino points out that problems can still arise. Most notably is tracking the different state withholding laws and regulations. For example, the definition of disposable earnings is inconsistent among the states. Settembrino writes, “The federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) provides a definition of disposable income. However, each state is individually responsible for determining what earnings and deductions are included in their definition.”

Another issue relates to timing. When a state announces a change, the employer or its software provider must update the software system, test the changes, and then move the changes to the production environment. “Generally, a legislative or administrative change to a withholding calculation will take employers three to six months to implement,” according to Settembrino.

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Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq. is Senior Manager of Government Relations for the APA.