Iowa Support Master

by Alft & Wilson Publishing

Income Help

This information is intended as a guide. Please conduct your own, independent research using the current Iowa Child Support Guidelines. Calculating child support requires technical expertise. We recommend you consult with an attorney.

Privacy Notes
Income Matters


Help - Support

Support assistance is not provided for the free use child support program. If you have questions, please contact the attorney of your choice.


What is "income?"

Income is anything you would report on your tax returns as income. Public assistance payments and the earned income tax credit are not considered "gross income".

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) paid pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1381a. SSI is not income.

Child support one, or both, of the parties is receiving is not income. Can the court give it consideration when determining what support should be? Yes. Consult with an attorney.

Find your situation below and learn what is income and what is not.

Wage Earner in Iowa

Enter the gross wages for the party in the income box. Weekly, Bi-weekly, Monthly - the program will calculate all the proper taxes.


Enter the gross self-employment income from Schedule C. Do not use the numbers from the 1040SE. The program will calculate the proper taxes. Social security rates are different for self-employed individuals. They pay the full-boat whereas employees contribute half and their employer contributes the other half.

Law Enforcement/Firefighters

If you have a party who is not paying into Social Security, for example Iowa State Patrol offices, you must enter their income in the "Other Income" field on the income screen then simply uncheck the FICA box. They are paying Federal and State taxes but they don't pay into social security. Because they pay into a retirement fund, you will need to know what they are paying in toward their retirement pension and enter that amount in the mandatory pension field. The percentage of income that they pay in may well be above the applicable Social Security Rates. If so, they may only take a credit equal to the allowed Social Security tax rates.

Alimony/Spousal Support

When paid by a party to the other party in the pending action, it may be allowed as a deduction against the NCP´s gross income to arrive at net income for purpose of calculating child support. There are two cases that address this issue.

If alimony is ordered in the current action, and the payor seeks credit for the amount paid to reduce his/her income for calculation of child support, make sure you read the information above above. Simply deduct the alimony paid to the current spouse from the payor´s income. On the income screen of the party receiving the spousal support, indicate the income as "Alimony Income”. Spousal support/alimony is not subject to FICA taxes. Iowa Support Master will correctly calculate this for you.

Spousal support actually paid by either party in a prior action, not the current action, is allowed as a deduction to arrive at net monthly income.

Taxable Income

is any income that is not subject to FICA. This includes interest, interst on savings accounts, etc., it is income and is included in the calculation of child support.

Wages paid in Iowa and in some other state.

This will require some calculations on your part. You must consult with an attorney.

Other Income

This feature allows you to enter certain incomes that may be subject to certain taxes. Examples include unemployment income which is not subject to FICA. Say your client receives $15,000.00 in unemployment. You would enter "Unemployment" in the "Describe Income" box then enter the amount, such as 15000.00 in the "Amount" box then uncheck the FICA box.

Pre-Tax Health Insurance

If a party earns $50,000 per year but has $5,000 per year taken to apply to the cost of health insurance, pre-tax, this means that the party has $5,000 of income on which tax is not paid. Plug in $45,000 as Wage Income. Go to Other Income and enter "Pre-Tax Health" in the income description then enter 5000.00 as the amount. Uncheck all the boxes. This will add the $5,000 back into the income.


Rule 9.4 provides that if the non-custodial parent is on SSI, child support is set to zero. The SSI program makes payments to people with low income who are age 65 or older or are blind or have a disability. Ask your client if he/she is on SSI. Read more about it here. SSI is different than Social Security Disability. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a monthly benefit for people who have worked in the past and paid Social Security taxes. SSDI benefits are paid to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of their disability.

In cases where the Non-Custodial Parent is on SSDI, the children are probably receiving a benefit check as well. The non-custodial parent's obligation to the custodial should be reduced (I say dollar-for-dollar) based on the amounts being received by the children. Using NCP's income, calculate the support amount. Look at how much in benefits are being received by the children. If that amount equals or exceeds NCP's obligation, then NCP should have no obligation for support. If less, then NCP should pay the difference.

In cases where the Custodial Parent is on SSDI, if the children are receiving benefits, these funds are added to the CP income for purpose of calculating child support.

For more discussion and information, go to the Social Security Website