Is a Tax Refund “Income” When Computing Child Support?
The obligation to provide child support in Virginia is purely statutory and uniquely based upon the gross income of the parents. Any income from any source is included in Virginia’s calculation of “gross income.” However, cash flow is not commensurate with income. Therefore, whether a state for federal income tax refund should be included in gross income in the year it is received has not been decided by any reported Virginia case. However, based upon this review of the reasoning from similar statutes in Kentucky and Minnesota, it is likely that Virginia courts will resolve the issue in the same manner and exclude tax refunds from “gross income.” If Virginia were to include tax refunds when calculating gross income for child support purposes, such a calculation would be tantamount to double counting the same earned dollar in the year earned (Year 1) and the year the tax was refunded (Year 2). Such double counting would be inaccurate and inequitable.
For more information on the calculation of child support in Virginia or any other family law issue, please contact Nicholas C. Erickson of Compton & Duling, LC (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The full article can be found at: Article in Virginia Family Law Quarterly Fall 2020