Income Withholding for Support
Withholding by employers accounts for more than 70% of child support collected—more than $1 billion dollars each year. Almost 1,000,000 children receive child support services through New York State.
New York State's Income Withholding for Support (PDF) is based on the federally required income withholding order (IWO).
Follow the steps below to process an Income Withholding for Support notice quickly and accurately:
- Check the identifying information
- Determine when you must begin withholding
- Note the total amount to withhold
- Calculate the amount you can withhold
- Remit the payment as directed
For the amount to withhold from a lump sum payment, please email email@example.com or call the Child Support Helpline at 1-888-208-4485 (TTY: 1-866-875-9975).
Check the identifying information
First, check the identifying information at the top of the first page.
This information includes
- The type of IWO—Original, Amended, Terminated
- The date of the IWO. This date determines how soon you must begin withholding.
- The source of the IWO (Child Support Enforcement Agency, court, etc.)
- The local district (New York county name) for the case and the New York Case ID
- The employer's name, address and Federal EIN
- The employee or independent contractor's name and Social Security number
If any of this information is not correct, you should immediately call the Child Support Helpline at 1-888-208-4485 (TTY: 1-866-875-9975).
If the person named does not work for you, proceed to the last page of the IWO, complete the NOTIFICATION OF TERMINATION and mail the completed notification to the Child Support Processing Center. See also the Report Terminations page.
Determine when you must begin withholding
You should begin withholding as soon as possible after you receive an IWO. Most often, you can begin withholding on your next pay date. However, we understand that it may take time to arrange this deduction.
In accordance with New York State law and regulations, the IWO states, "you must begin withholding no later than the first pay period that occurs 14 days after the date of service of this notice.…"
Suppose you receive the IWO on the 3rd day of the month, and your next pay date is the 6th. You may not be able to start withholding in only three days. The IWO date is the 30th of the previous month. Fourteen days after the 30th is the 13th, and your next pay date after that is the 20th. Therefore, you must begin withholding on the 20th of the month.
Note the total amount to withhold—for your pay cycle
The total amount you are to withhold is shown on the first page of the IWO. It includes various amounts and frequencies, such as "$100.00 biweekly" and "a Total Amount to Withhold of $341.54 per bi-weekly."
Before you begin to calculate withholding for your employee or independent contractor, be sure to choose the total amount that matches your pay cycle. As shown in the illustration, an IWO may direct you to withhold $341.54 biweekly. If your pay period is weekly, however, the amount you should withhold is $170.77. When you calculate the withholding, use the $170.77 weekly figure as the total amount to withhold for this IWO.
Calculate the amount you can withhold
For detailed information about withholding calculations, visit the online calculator or the Withholding Limitations Worksheet page. This section summarizes the information you will need to complete the support withholding calculation.
Information from the IWO
First, you will need the following order amount information from the first page of the IWO.
- the employee or independent contractor's arrears status for this IWO
- Look for "Arrears greater than 12 weeks?"
- If the Yes box is checked, the Maximum Withholding percentage will be higher.
- the employee's obligation amounts for
- current child support
- past-due child support
- current cash medical support
- past-due cash medical support
- current spousal support
- past-due spousal support
- other (payments to a third or fourth party)
The sum of the obligation amount totals should equal the TOTAL AMOUNT TO WITHHOLD, adjusted to match your pay cycle, if necessary. For help with converting amounts to different pay periods, visit the Withholding Limitations Worksheet page or the online calculator.
The employee or independent contractor's allowed deductions from gross pay
You will need the amounts of the following deductions for the employee:
- Federal income tax
- Social Security tax
- Medicare tax
- State income tax
- City/Local income tax
- Involuntary pension contributions
Only these deductions are used to calculate the employee's disposable income for child support.
This amount is often NOT the same as the employee's net pay.
Health insurance premium
Finally, you may also need the amount of the employee or independent contractor's health insurance premium (including dependents), if the employee is ordered to provide dependent health insurance. The amount of the premium is determined by the health insurance provider.
Amounts you need to calculate
Using the total obligation amounts and the employee or independent contractor's deductions, you must then calculate or determine these amounts for the employee:
- disposable income for child support
- CCPA withholding limitation percentage
- Maximum Withholding
- total current obligation for each IWO
- total of the past due and other amounts (if any) for each IWO
- total current obligations for all IWOs
- total of the past due and other amounts for all IWOs
- total amount to withhold for all IWOs
- pro rata share due to each IWO (if applicable)
- amount to be withheld for each IWO
- amount to withhold for dependent health insurance
Check your answer: Total of all obligations or Maximum Withholding?
For each child support payment, you will withhold either the total obligations for all IWOs plus the health insurance premium or the Maximum Withholding according to the CCPA limitation. You cannot withhold more than the Maximum Withholding, but you may withhold less if the total of all obligations is less.
Employers are responsible for remitting the amounts they withhold for child support directly to the NYS Child Support Processing Center. Please note these requirements for child support payments:
- For employers and employees or independent contractors in New York State, payments must be remitted within seven (7) working days of the pay date for each withholding. Failure to remit payments on time may result in penalties to the employer.
- All payments should be made payable to NYS Child Support Processing Center.
- Payments should be sent to NYS Child Support Processing Center, PO Box 15363, Albany, NY 12212-5363.
- Along with each payment, employers must provide the following identifying information:
- Payment date (date of withholding)
- Account number(s) or New York Case Identifier(s), e.g., ZY12345X1, shown at the top of the first page of the IWO
- Amount of payment for each account
Employers in New York State may NOT collect any fees to defray the cost of withholding.
For more information about remitting payments, including electronic submissions, visit the Remit Payments page.
Health insurance premiums must be sent to the health insurance provider.