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Bonus Earnings not included in Payee's Earnings

BM not revealing true income....

BM has relocated to the USA. DP still pays CS but she has recently reported a $12k drop in income. Same position. Same company. Same role. The company she works for is known to include a sizeable yearly bonus much more generous than other companies, and I believe she has not reported this as part of her income. I don't believe she has provided her most recent tax statement (actually hasn't done that for the last four years but that's another story) but has provided her pay slips which, of course, would show the earnings as being less. So DP's payments have gone up and it's simply not right that CSA don't question why her earnings have "dropped" so significantly when she is with the same company. It doesn't even make sense!

My question is - are bonuses included in CSA formulas or are they ignored even when the policy of the company is to pay industry rates and offer hefty bonuses?

Also, would a COA be applicable in this case or will we be wasting our time? I have researched what the company pays in the field she is employed and their pay structure and I don't believe she is being honest. At all…

The CSA has no power overseas other than to expect that the country conforms to the reciprocation agreement, which is basically in regard to collection (although they can request that the other country's authority can assist). However, if the CSA (registrar) receive documentation then they can adjust the income accordingly:-


The CSA Guide - 2.4.4 Child support income - Determination of overseas income where parent is a resident of a reciprocating jurisdiction said
Determination of overseas income where parent is a resident of a reciprocating jurisdiction

If the Registrar has sufficient information and documents, the Registrar may use that information to determine the parent's overseas income. When determining the income of a resident of a reciprocating jurisdiction the Registrar will consider the parent's income for the last relevant year of income in the country in which the parent lives.

If the Registrar does not have sufficient information to determine a person's overseas income despite requesting income information from the parent or an overseas authority, the Registrar may determine that the person's overseas income is an amount that the Registrar considers appropriate of at least 2/3 of the annualised MTAWE figure for the child support period.

If the Registrar does not have sufficient information or documents to determine an amount of overseas income for the last relevant year of income, but a determination has been made for a previous year of income, the Registrar will generally determine that the parent's adjusted taxable income for the last relevant year of income is the greater of the following amounts:

    the amount worked out by multiplying the parent's ATI for the most recent income year by the ATI indexation factor, or
    two-thirds of the annualised MTAWE figure for the child support period. The 2/3 MTAWE figure for each year is included in the table of basic values.

If the Registrar does not have sufficient information to determine an overseas income and is unable to serve a notice on either the parent or the relevant overseas authority, then the Registrar is unable to determine an overseas income for that parent.

Act reference: CS(Assessment)Act section 5A Definition of annualised MTAWE figure, section 58 Determination by the Registrar of a parent's adjusted taxable income, section 162 Order to comply with requirement

Policy reference: CS Guide 2.4.2 Formula tables and values

I'd suggest that you provide documentation to the CSA, your research, that shows that employees of the company that the other parent works for, do get an annual bonus.

I think you could have a valid argument ie payslips are not fully comprehensive and thus do not constitute "tax returns" (unless all are provided and especially those for when the bonus is applied) and thus that the default income should be applied. However, this would result in the taxable income being taken to be a $47,046, so if their income is greater than this then it would serve no purpose.

A departure from administrative assessment (change of assessment) may be effective as the mentality of those who makes such decision very much appears to be collect as much as possible irrespective of the methods used in making determinations. However this can be a long winded and obtrusive process. However for the sake of an easy job you may simply be met with "No special circumstances". In anyway the evidence would likely rely upon the evidence that you can provide and thus should be considered.


I'd suggest:

Writing to the CSA stating that as payslips do not necessarily provide an accurate means of establishing the full income of an employee that works for a company that pays annual bonuses and thus that the CSA should insist that the liable parent provide proof of their taxable income and that in the absence of this that the CSA, due to the documentation you provide, should include the mentioned/specified bonus in the payer's income or that the CSA apply the default income (no use if the income already provide exceeds $47,046). Additionally explain that the CSA acting as above would reduce the overall work involved and thus cost to Australia as the matter would then be treated as a departure from administrative assessment under reason 8 and if need be a matter to be taken to the social Security Appeal tribunal and if need be to court.

In addition to writing to the CSA I'd suggest also making it known that you have/are informing your local federal MP and the federal MP who covers the DHS and additionally the ombudsman.
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