|Effective:||01/14/22||Approved By: Sr. Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs and Deputy CFO|
This guideline provides information on payment holds. State payment hold requirements apply to all individuals and entities indebted to the State of Texas, including vendors, students and employees.
Texas Government Code Section 403.055 Payments to Debtors or Delinquents Prohibited
Table of Contents
- What is a Hold?
- Expense Reimbursements and Vendor Payments
A. What is a Hold?
Texas law requires UTSA (and other state agencies) to hold relevant payments to individuals and entities who owe a debt to the State of Texas or are delinquent on certain taxes, student loans or child support.
UTSA is also required to notify the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (state comptroller) of every individual or entity with an outstanding debt. Reporting these debts enables the state comptroller to hold state payments issued to the individuals or entities in accordance with Texas Government Code Section 403.055 Payments to Debtors or Delinquents Prohibited.
Holds can be placed by other state agencies, or by various UTSA offices, which may use different terms to refer to holds depending on the situation (below are some examples):
- Financial holds
- Payment TINS holds
- State comptroller holds
- State holds
- Vendor holds
B. Expense Reimbursements and Vendor Payments
1. Payment TINS Hold Procedures
The agency to whom an individual or entity is indebted (hold source agency) places a hold on the individual's or entity's Texas Identification Number (TIN) in the Texas Identification Number System (TINS) – Vendor Hold Search. This is called a payment TINS hold. An individual or entity may have one or multiple hold records on file.
If a payee is indebted to the state or to a state agency, the payee must first resolve the situation with the hold source agency so that the hold can be released in TINS and payment can be made by the UTSA Disbursements and Travel Services (DTS) office.
Any of the following processes may be used to release payment:
- The payee may choose to make a payment for the full amount owed to the hold source agency, which will then release the hold in TINS. When the hold is released, UTSA can pay the held payment.
- The payee may consent to apply the payment to the debt by completing the Payee Limited Power of Attorney. This form, along with a Notice of Payment Held letter, will be mailed to the payee after payment has been processed (but not released) by DTS (three-day turnaround). The payee must submit the completed form via mail for processing to Disbursements and Travel Services, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249. UTSA will then send the payment to the hold source agency according to the payment instructions on the form, and the payment will be applied to the debt.
- UTSA may choose to release the held payment to the payee; however, a letter that includes the payee name and a statement that the payee is in good standing with the state is required in order to release payment. The letter is submitted by the hold source agency to UTSA (letters may be faxed to 210-458-4236). If the hold remains, additional clearance letters will be required in order for any future payments to be processed by DTS.
If the payee takes no action, the payment will be held until a completed Payee Limited Power of Attorney Form is forwarded to DTS.
DTS is unable to offset funds, unless the payee has multiple state holds (see Other circumstances).
The payment TINS hold procedures above apply to vendors who are on hold.
3. Reimbursements (Employees and Students)
If a payee is on hold, the payment TINS hold procedures above will apply to the following reimbursements:
- Approved travel expenses (employees and students): Upon completion of travel, the traveler and their department must process and submit a timely Expense Report, per Financial Guideline — Travel Reimbursement
- Approved business expenses (employees only)
For both travel and business expenses, the payee and their department must process and submit a timely Expense Report. If the payee has been released from hold, DTS will reimburse any out-of-pocket expenses as authorized by the department. If the payee remains on hold, the payment TINS hold procedures above will be followed and payment will not be released; however, even if a payee is on state hold, all Expense Reports are required to be processed and settled timely.
4. Other circumstances
Multiple holds: DTS will follow the offset order process established by the state comptroller if the payee has multiple holds. For further information, see the state comptroller’s Reporting of State Debts and Hold Offset Procedures (APS 028) and Texas Government Code Section 403.0551 Deductions for Repayment of Certain Debts or Tax Delinquencies (f).
Bankruptcy: DTS will follow the process established by the state comptroller if the payee has an active bankruptcy status in TINS.
Federal funds: Any portion of the payment that is paid with federal funds is not subject to the holding process. UTSA will follow the process established by the state comptroller (Texas Government Code Section 403.055 Payments to Debtors or Delinquents Prohibited (i)) for amounts paid with federal funds.
The state comptroller’s Reporting of State Debts and Hold Offset Procedures (APS 028) require state agencies and institutions of higher education (excluding junior and community colleges) to notify the state comptroller’s office if a person or other entity owes a debt to the State of Texas.
A student may have one or more holds on file. University financial holds apply once accounts are delinquent. State comptroller holds apply to accounts that are delinquent 90 days or more. State comptroller holds are placed in addition to university financial holds. Holds can prevent UTSA from providing services including, but not limited to, class registration, release of official transcripts, financial aid and refunds.
Students may use any of the following processes to release payment, if applicable:
- Students may use financial aid to pay a delinquent balance by signing a Prior Term Agreement with Fiscal Services. Once the delinquent balance is paid in full, UTSA will release the state comptroller hold.
- Students may choose to make a payment for the full amount owed to the agency or institution of higher education that placed the hold. The hold source agency can then release the hold and UTSA can pay the held payment.
1. Financial Aid
Grants funded by the State of Texas may be applied to offset delinquent balances.
Federally funded awards allow a $200 limit to offset delinquent balances, unless a Prior Term Agreement is on file.
In accordance with Texas Government Code Section 403.055 Payments to Debtors or Delinquents Prohibited, if a student is on hold with another state agency, the student must first resolve the hold with the hold source agency so that the refund may be released to the student.
3. Reimbursements from Other Agencies
If payment from another state agency is being held due to a state comptroller hold placed by UTSA for a delinquent balance, the student must resolve the hold by paying the delinquent balance to UTSA in full. If the student is unable to resolve the hold, the payment will be held by the state comptroller to offset the debt. For further information, see the state comptroller office’s Reporting of State Debts and Hold Offset Procedures (APS 028).
For UTSA travel reimbursements, see Reimbursements (Employees and Students).
Hold requirements may apply to all employees (including, but not limited to, faculty, staff, student employees and graduate research assistants).
For expense reimbursements, see Reimbursements (Employees and Students).
Payroll Services contacts employees who have been overpaid in writing. If the employee does not respond or does not timely return the overpaid amount, a state hold will be placed on the employee. The hold is released after the employee returns the overpaid amount in full.
2. Vacation Payout
Payroll Services checks for state holds before issuing vacation payouts to employees leaving UTSA. If there is a hold, Payroll Services will withhold the payment and contact the employee in writing.
The employee needs to resolve the hold with the hold source agency, then notify Payroll Services. After the hold is released, Payroll Services will issue the vacation payout.
If the hold remains
- Hold placed by UTSA: Payroll Services will contact Fiscal Services to apply the vacation payout to the employee’s UTSA debt
- Hold placed by another state agency: The employee will need to sign an affidavit for UTSA to forward the vacation payout to the hold source agency. Or, if Payroll Services is unable to locate/contact the employee, Payroll Services will send the funds to the state comptroller as unclaimed property after the applicable period of time.
Upon receiving notice from the Texas Office of the Attorney General to withhold income for child support, Payroll Services is required to apply up to 50% of the employee’s paycheck to the child support debt.
None at this time.