In addition to court orders for alimony and child support, a federal employee’s salary (and certain other forms of compensation) can be garnisheed to repay debt owed to the government and state and local tax debt.
There are differing limits on the percentage that can be withheld on an ongoing basis, depending on the nature of the debt.
There is no statute of limitations for collection by salary offset of non-tax debt owed to the federal government. Under 5 CFR 550.1104, agencies set their own policies, subject to OPM approval, governing internal procedures, and specify requirements for notification and other employee rights. Separate policies at 31 CFR 285.7 apply to collection of debts outstanding more than 10 years as of June 11, 2009