TRIP on target to start in March

The Judicial Council’s Administrative Office of the Courts is scheduled to begin its Tax Refund Intercept Program (TRIP) pilot testing this month.  TRIP is being developed following the passage of HB 1000 by the 2014 Georgia General Assembly. HB 1000, sponsored by Rep. Barry Fleming (District 121), authorizes the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to submit debts on behalf of Georgia’s courts to the Georgia Department of Revenue (Revenue) for collection from state income tax refunds.  The legislation authorizes the interception to satisfy court-ordered fines and fees that remain unpaid, along with providing debtors the right to contest the intercept. 

The purpose of TRIP is to provide Georgia’s courts with an alternative means to enforce their monetary judgments and protect the integrity of their decisions.  It will not be used until the defendant’s other avenues for payments have expired.  A local hearing process is being established for taxpayers to challenge intercepts on the grounds that the taxpayer is not in fact the debtor or that they have previously paid the fines and fees ordered by the court.  The hearings will not be an opportunity to reopen a case. 

A number of volunteer courts are participating in the pilot phase and more may be added as the test program progresses. To conduct the pilot program, the AOC is partnering with established government debt recovery solutions company RevQ, which has licensed its collections management software to the AOC and pilot courts.  After the twelve-month pilot program is complete, the next phase includes implementing a system that all Georgia courts could opt to use to submit debts greater than $25.00 for collection.

Persons with unpaid court fines and fees that have not expired will be contacted by the court in advance of an intercept request, to offer the taxpayer one more opportunity to reconcile the debt and to serve notice of the intention to request that Revenue intercept any tax return proceeds that debtor may be otherwise entitled to receive.  Questions about individual cases should be addressed to the court directly since neither the AOC nor Revenue will have any specific information regarding the case.

Contact AOC

Administrative Office of the Courts 244 Washington Street, SW Suite 300 Atlanta, GA  30334

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