Tax guide

Child Support, Debt, and Your Stimulus Payments

Updated for filing 2021 tax returns

Could My COVID-19 Relief Payments be Garnished by Creditors?

Taxpayers in debt could have money legally withheld in some situations from their paychecks, refunds and even stimulus payments—but the rules of garnishment are different depending on the payment that is being garnished.

In the case of COVID-19 relief efforts, whether or not your stimulus payment can be garnished depends on the relief package in question.

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Is my American Rescue Plan Act stimulus payment (EIP3) protected from garnishment?

Yes—federal and state debts like child support cannot be garnished from your EIP3.

See IRS FAQ on Third-round Economic Impact Payments for more information.

Are my Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments protected from garnishment?

For federal offsets, your ACTC payments are protected; however, they are still subject to garnishment by your state, local government, and private creditors (though some states and financial institutions chose to protect these payments). 

See the IRS FAQ on Receiving Advance Child Tax Credit Payments for more information.

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