The Child Support Enforcement Division of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) has consistently relied on your help in assisting children to obtain the financial support to which they are entitled. Income withholding, the most effective tool for securing regular child support payments, requires you to deduct child support payments directly from the paycheck of your employee or independent contractor. The compliance rate for child support payments made through income withholding is 97 percent compared to a compliance rate of 29 percent for child support payments made directly by a parent.
Massachusetts was among the first states to adopt income withholding laws and continues to be at the forefront by administering one of the most effective income withholding programs in the country. Federal and state law have built on our experience and now make it easier for you to process income withholding orders. (See Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 119A.)
This section of our website provides an overview of income withholding, your responsibilities as an employer, and DOR's role as the centralized collection and distribution unit for all income withholding payments in Massachusetts. You will also find detailed instructions to make it easier for you to implement income withholding orders.
DOR appreciates your continued cooperation in helping us make the child support program a success. If you have any questions after reviewing this information, call our Customer Service Bureau at 800-332-2733 (local callers, 617-660-1234) and listen to the menu options to access our Employer Services Unit.
Basic Rules of Income Withholding
- Income withholding orders apply to ALL employees, including independent contractors.
- You must deduct your first payment from the first payroll, after your receipt of the income withholding order.
- You must continue to deduct payments directly from each payroll, on the same date that you process the payroll.
- You must send payments to DOR within 3 days after deducting them from your payroll.
- You must remit by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) if you employ five or more individuals. ( 830 CMR 119A.5.1) We encourage all employers to remit via EFT. The process eliminates errors and frees up valuable resources.
To enroll or learn more about EFT
- If you remit child support by check, make checks payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and mail them to the following address: DOR, P.O. Box 55140, Boston, MA 02205-5140. If this is the first time you are sending a payment for a particular employee, remember to enclose a copy of the income withholding order, along with the name and Social Security number for each employee and the amount being remitted.
- If you send in child support payments by check without DOR forms, you must identify each employee by name and Social Security number on your check.
- You may be held responsible for reimbursing DOR for payments that are processed incorrectly because you did not provide enough information to identify the employee(s) for whom you are forwarding payments.
For more information or help regarding income withholding orders:
- Review our Frequently Asked Questions from employers.
- Call our customer service line at 800-332-2733.
- Visit the website of the Federal Office of Child Support.
Attention Employers: If you have more than one employee with a Massachusetts child support order, you may consolidate your payments to DOR into a single check.
Consolidate Child Support Payments