The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) enforces child and domestic support orders and collects support payments for families. They help nearly 400,000 people every year in the Province of Ontario.
I have clients that ensure their payments are made in full and on time through pre-authorized debits from their bank account and directed to FRO. A problem we have on an annual basis is the CRA not recognizing the deduction for spousal support on personal tax returns. For the past 8 years one of my clients gets a Notice of Reassessment stating “We have disallowed your deduction for support payments to a spouse or common-law partner. You can deduct only support amounts paid under a written agreement or court order that are more than the child support payable for current and prior years”. Each year we have to send exactly the same written agreement to the CRA and they then reverse their assessment. No conversations take place, no explanation of why it has to be sent year after year, it just does. And it is very stressful to those that receive the first Notice of Reassessment. When initially they thought they were getting a refund of $4,000, the CRA is asking them to pay $3,000!
If the fear of the CRA isn’t enough to keep someone consistent with their payments and paperwork, you need to hear what FRO can do if you’re delinquent.
- Suspend your driver’s license
- Report you to the credit bureau
- Garnish your bank accounts
- Place a lien on your personal property
- Seize your lottery winnings
- Garnish any monies you may be entitled to receive from the Government of Canada i.e. income tax refunds, EI benefits, CPP and OAS benefits
- Suspend your Canadian Passport
- Start a Default Hearing, which could result in up to 180 days of jail time.
Even if you have declared bankruptcy, you still owe support.
They now also post personal information online, asking for the publics help in tracking down the delinquent payer if support payments have not been made in the last 6 months. Here is the website.
Whether you’re on the paying side or the receiving side it appears the governments are trying to do what they can to enforce the written agreements and court orders.
Share your experience with me good or bad. I love getting feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.
Until next time,