45 CFR § 31.4 - Certification and referral of debt.

§ 31.4 Certification and referral of debt.

(a) Certification. The Secretary shall certify to FMS that:

(1) The debt is past-due and legally enforceable in the amount submitted and that the Department will ensure that collections are properly credited to the debt;

(2) Except in the case of a judgment debt or as otherwise allowed by law, the debt is referred within ten (10) years after the Department's right of action accrues;

(3) The Department has made reasonable efforts to obtain payment of the debt, and has:

(i) Submitted the debt to FMS for collection by offset and complied with the administrative offset provision of 31 U.S.C. 3716(a) and related regulations, to the extent that collection by administrative offset is not prohibited by statute;

(ii) Notified, or made a reasonable attempt to notify, the debtor that the debt is past-due, and unless paid within 60 days of the date of the notice, the debt may be referred to Treasury for tax refund offset. For purposes of this regulation, the Department has made a reasonable attempt to notify the debtor if the agency uses the current address information contained in the Department's records related to the debt. If address validation is desired or necessary, the Department may obtain information from the IRS pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 6103(m)(2)(4) or (5).

(iii) Given the debtor at least 60 days to present evidence that all or part of the debt is not past-due or not legally enforceable, considered any evidence presented by the debtor, and determined that the debt is past-due and legally enforceable; and

(iv) Provided the debtor with an opportunity to make a written agreement to repay the debt; and

(4) The debt is at least $25.

(b) Referral.

(1) The Secretary shall submit past-due, legally enforceable debt information for tax refund offset in the time and manner prescribed by the Department of the Treasury.

(2) For each debt referred under this part, the Secretary will include the following information:

(i) The name and taxpayer identifying number, as defined in 26 U.S.C. 6109, of the debtor responsible for the debt;

(ii) The amount of such past-due and legally enforceable debt;

(iii) The date on which the debt became past-due; and

(iv) The designation of the Department referring the debt.

(c) Correcting and updating referral.

(1) After referring a debt under this part, the Secretary shall promptly notify the Department of the Treasury if:

(i) An error was made with respect to information transmitted to the Department of the Treasury;

(ii) The Department receives a payment or credits a payment to the account of a debtor referred for tax refund offset; or

(iii) The debt amount is otherwise incorrect.

(2) The Department shall provide the certification required under paragraph (a) of this section for any increases to amounts owed.

(d) Rejection of certification. If the Department of Treasury rejects a certification because it does not comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, upon notification of the rejection and the reason(s) for rejection, the Secretary will resubmit the debt with a corrected certification.