The Federal Child Support Guidelines indicate how much child support is payable, based on the payor’s income and the number of children. The Guidelines also set out rules stating how a payor’s income for child support should be determined. The starting point, according to section 16 of the Guidelines, is the payor’s line 150 income.
There are a number of reasons why the line 150 income of a payor may need to be adjusted for child support calculation purposes. One such reason is that the payor is an employee who has certain unavoidable employment expenses. Employment expenses can be deducted from taxable income, reducing tax payable, but do not impact a payor’s line 150 income.
Therefore, for support purposes, parents who incur certain employment expenses are allowed to deduct the expenses from their line 150 income in calculating their “Guideline income.”
The Guidelines prescribe which expenses should be deducted from a payor’s income in Schedule III. The most common of these expenses are motor vehicle expenses, dues and expenses of performing duties (i.e. union dues), and sales expenses. More unusual expenses that can be deducted from line 150 incomes for calculating child support include forfeited amounts and artists’ employment expenses.
These adjustments are designed to ensure that parents who have expenses from their jobs are treated comparably to employees who do not have these expenses.