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Department of Revenue Authority to Offset Refunds 9

SECTION 66.   Said chapter 62D is hereby further amended by adding the following 2 sections:-

Section 15. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

"Federal nontax liability", a delinquent nontax liability certified by a federal official including, but not limited to, any interest, penalty, fine, fee or other nontax assessment imposed by or payable to the federal government that is finally determined to be due and owing.

"Federal official", a unit or official of the federal government charged with the collection of federal nontax liabilities payable to the federal government and with the authority to enter into the offset agreement.

"Offset agreement", the agreement between the commissioner, the state comptroller and the Secretary of the Treasury authorized by this section and section 19 of chapter 7A.

"State tax liability", a delinquent tax liability certified by the commissioner including, but not limited to, any tax, interest, penalty or other addition to a tax imposed by or payable to the commonwealth that is finally determined to be due and owing pursuant to chapter 62C.

(b) Notwithstanding any other general or special law to the contrary, in coordination with the comptroller pursuant to section 19 of chapter 7A, the commissioner may enter into an offset agreement with the Secretary of the Treasury to participate in a reciprocal Treasury Offset Program pursuant to 31 U.S.C. section 3716 for the collection of any state tax liabilities owed to the commonwealth from federal payments to vendors and contractors. The offset agreement may provide for the United States to submit federal nontax liabilities owed to federal agencies for offset against refunds otherwise due and owing to taxpayers.

(c) Under the offset agreement, a federal official may: (1) certify to the commissioner the existence of a person's delinquent federal nontax liability, owed by the person to the federal government, by providing: (i) the full name and address of the person and any other names known to be used by the person; (ii) the social security number or federal tax identification number of the person; (iii) the amount of the federal nontax liability; (iv) a statement certifying that the liability is past due, that due process has been provided and that the liability is legally enforceable in the amount certified, which may be provided in procedures for certifying payments in the offset agreement; and (v) any other information needed under the agreement; (2) request the commissioner to withhold any refund to which the person is entitled; and (3) retain a portion of the proceeds of any federal administrative setoff authorized by the federal offset program.

(d) As required or permitted by state law, federal law or the offset agreement, the commissioner shall: (1) determine if a person for whom a certification is received is due a refund; (2) withhold a refund that is due a person whose name has been certified by a federal official; (3) notify the person of the amount withheld in satisfaction of the federal nontax liability certified by a federal official; and (4) pay to the federal official the lesser of the entire refund or the amount certified plus any fee due under subsection (g) and pay any refund in excess of such amount to the person.

(e) The commissioner may certify to a federal official a person's delinquent state tax liability owed to the commonwealth by providing the federal official: (i) the full name and address of the person and any other names known to be used by the person; (ii) the social security number or federal tax identification number of the person; (iii) the amount of the state tax liability; (iv) a statement certifying that the state tax liability is past due, that due process has been provided and that the liability is legally enforceable in the amount certified, which may be provided in procedures for certifying payments in the offset agreement; and (v) any other information required by state statute or regulation applicable to the collection of the state tax liability by offset of federal payments to vendors and contractors.

(f) The commissioner may request that the federal official withhold the lesser of any federal vendor or contractor payment to which the person is entitled under the offset agreement or the amount certified plus any fee due under subsection (g).

(g) The commissioner shall establish a reasonable administrative fee to be charged to the person for the state offset of a federal nontax liability or the federal offset of a state tax liability. The fee shall be a separate charge and may be withheld from any refund. State administrative fees may be retained by the commissioner and shall be deposited in a separate revolving fund to be used by the commissioner, without further appropriation, for the costs in operating the offset program.

(h) Notwithstanding section 21 of chapter 62C or any other law prohibiting disclosure by the department of the contents of a taxpayer's records or information, all information exchanged to accomplish and effectuate the intent of this section shall be lawful.

(i) If an individual filed a joint income tax return and the federal nontax liability certified by a federal official is not the liability of both parties to the joint income tax return, the commissioner may not withhold or pay to the federal official that portion of the income tax refund attributable to the individual not owing the liability. The commissioner shall adopt procedures notifying parties to a joint income tax return of a proposed offset of a refund for a federal nontax liability certified by a federal official. The parties to the return shall have 60 days to assert, in writing, that a portion of the income tax refund is attributable to the individual not owing the federal nontax liability. If no such assertion, by a party to the joint return, is made within 60 days of notice, all of the refund shall be deemed attributable to the individual owing the liability.

Section 16. (a) As used in this section the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

"Other state tax liability", a delinquent tax liability certified by the tax officer of the reciprocal state, including but not limited to, any tax, interest, penalty or other addition to a tax imposed by or payable to the participating state that is finally determined to be due and owing under the laws of that state.

"State", any state or the District of Columbia which extends a like comity for the collection of taxes owed to the commonwealth and participates in the reciprocal offset program.

"State offset agreement", the agreement between the commissioner and the tax officer of the state which allows the department and the state to participate in a reciprocal offset program.

"State refund", an overpayment of any tax that is returned or credited to the taxpayer underthe laws of the state.

"State tax liability", a delinquent tax liability certified by the commissioner including, but not limited to, any tax, interest, penalty or other addition to a tax imposed by or payable to the commonwealth that is finally determined to be due and owing pursuant to chapter 62C.

"Tax officer", a unit or official of a state, or the duly authorized agent of such unit or official, charged with the imposition, assessment or collection of taxes in that state.

"Taxpayer", a person identified by the commissioner or a tax officer as owing tax liabilities to the department or a state.

(b) Notwithstanding any other general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner may enter into a state offset agreement with a tax officer to participate in a reciprocal offset program for the collection of state tax liabilities owed to the commonwealth from state refunds due a taxpayer of the reciprocal state. The state offset agreement may provide for the state to submit other state tax liabilities to be offset against refunds due to commonwealth taxpayers.

(c) The commissioner may establish, in the state offset agreement, procedures and methods to be employed by the department and a state to safeguard information and implement this section. No state shall request the collection of taxes through the remedy established pursuant to this section unless the tax is at least $50.

(d) Under the state offset agreement, a tax officer may: (1) certify to the commissioner the existence of a person's delinquent other state tax liability, owed by the person to the state, by providing: (i) the full name and address of the person and any other names known to be used by the person; (ii) the social security number or federal tax identification number of the person; (iii) the amount of the other state tax liability due to the state, including interest and penalties; (iv) a statement certifying that the liability is past due, that due process has been provided and that the other state tax liability is legally enforceable in the amount certified, which may be provided in procedures for certifying payments in the state offset agreement; and (v) any other information needed under the agreement; (2) request the commissioner to withhold any refund to which the person is entitled; and (3) retain a portion of the proceeds of any setoff authorized by the state offset program.

(e) As required or permitted by state law and the state offset agreement, the commissioner shall: (1) determine if a person for whom a certification is received is due a refund; (2) withhold a refund that is due a person whose name has been certified by a tax officer; (3) notify the person of the amount withheld in satisfaction of the other state tax liability certified by a tax officer; (4) pay to the state the lesser of the entire refund or the amount certified plus any fee due pursuant to subsection (h); and (5) pay any refund in excess of such amount to the person.

(f) The commissioner may certify to a tax officer a person's delinquent state tax liability owed the commonwealth by providing the tax officer: (i) the full name and address of the person and any other names known to be used by the person; (ii) the social security number or federal tax identification number of the person; (iii) the amount of the state tax liability; (iv) a statement certifying that the state tax liability is past due, that due process has been provided and that the liability is legally enforceable in the amount certified, which may be provided in procedures for certifying payments in the state offset agreement; and (v) any other information required by state statute or regulation applicable to the collection of the state tax liability by offset of state refunds due a taxpayer.

(g) The commissioner may request that the tax officer withhold the lesser of any state refund to which the person is entitled under the state offset agreement or the amount certified plus any fee due pursuant to subsection (h).

(h) The commissioner and the state may establish a reasonable administrative fee to be charged to the person for the provision of the offsets. The fee shall be a separate charge and may be withheld from any refund or state refund due to the person. Any applicable administrative fees may be retained by the commissioner and shall be deposited in a separate revolving fund to be used by the commissioner, without further appropriation, for the costs in operating the state offset program.

(i) Notwithstanding section 21 of chapter 62C or any other law prohibiting disclosure by the department of the contents of a taxpayer's records or information, the exchange of information to accomplish and effectuate the intent of this section is lawful.

(j) If an individual filed a joint income tax return and the other state tax liability certified by a tax officer is not the liability of both parties to the joint income tax return, the commissioner shall not withhold or pay to the state that portion of the income tax refund attributable to the individual not owing the liability. The commissioner shall adopt procedures notifying parties to a joint income tax return of a proposed offset of a refund for the other state tax liability certified by a tax officer. The parties to the return shall have 60 days to assert in writing that a portion of the income tax refund is attributable to the individual not owing the liability. If no such assertion by a party to the joint return is made within 60 days of notice, all of the refund shall be deemed attributable to the individual owing the liability.