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Frustration with CSA!

Overseas Income and COA... Can they EVER get it right??

I am incredibly frustrated by the CSA and would like some advice on how we should handle this?

BM2 moved overseas some 4 years ago. The CSA is using a provisional income because BM2 hasn't provided a tax return or proof of income since 2011 or 2012. We asked the CSA to obtain her correct income details back in November of 2013. They sent a letter but she didn't respond. We were then advised to lodge a COA which will force her to provide the details. The COA was lodged early December. We have now received a call to say that the COA is not what is required - that the OTHER department were meant to follow up on it! So now it's gone back to the "other department". Are they serious???? We believe BM2's income is incorrect and we would like the correct details so the payments reflect the correct amount we should be paying.

What can we do???
In short the CSA has no real power internationally and can really only collect the CS for most countries that are a reciprocal jurisdiction (some do have more comprehensive agreements e.g. NZ if I recall correctly). I'd suggest having a read through The CSA Guide - Overseas orders, court registered agreements and assessments 3.6.
Thanks for the link Mike. At this stage, the Australian agency is collecting CS because the child was born here. BM2 left some four years ago without informing the CSA or DH - the child was around 6 years old at the time. When DH heard BM2 had left the country for work, the CSA advised him to stop payments in an attempt to force her to contact him. She did after 3 months and promptly arranged for the CSA to collect payments from then on (previously privately paid).

A COA was lodged by DH back then because, obviously, her US wages weren't being reflected in her Australian tax return. BM2 provided details about her income but at that stage, she hadn't been there for a full fiscal year and no tax return in her country of residence had been lodged yet. CSA has been going by a "provisional income" and not her actual income because she hasn't provided her financials. We believe her "provisional" income is less than her actual income.

So I guess my question is - if CS is being collected by the Australian CSA for a reciprocal country, why are they not chasing her for her correct income details?
Kikki said
So I guess my question is - if CS is being collected by the Australian CSA for a reciprocal country, why are they not chasing her for her correct income details?

Basically the CSA have no jurisdiction overseas and therefore cannot compel residents overseas to do anything (provide information) (hence the use of the provisional income), reciprocation is very much limited to collection of child support. All you could do is apply to the overseas court or perhaps a court here (although I don't believe the court here has any power overseas and would perhaps rule (or dismiss the case) accordingly) as per:-

The CSA Guide - Varying overseas maintenance liabilities 3.6.4 said
Applying to an overseas court

Parents can apply to a court in the country where the overseas parent resides for variation of an overseas order. Where the application is made directly to a court overseas, the applicant parent may apply to Child Support for assistance in transmitting the application for variation (regulation 18 Registration and Collection Regulations).

A parent who has an original order made in the United States of America (USA) can seek a variation to their order in an Australian court, and the Registrar can give effect to that variation as a final order. However, the USA jurisdiction that made the original order may not recognise the Australian variation and, if so, arrears will continue to accrue under the original order in the USA. For this reason, it may be preferable for a parent with an order from the USA to seek a variation in the jurisdiction that made the original order.

Perhaps that application could simply be to divulge their income annually.
Wow. I'm blown away. So the "reciprocating countries" is really just a farce.  In my eyes, "reciprocating" would mean both countries work together to ensure the correct amount is being paid. As it stands, we have no idea of her income and no real way of getting that information without going through the court system. How is this even right?

*slumps*
You've reached an impasse that logically shouldn't occur. At this time I'd write to your local federal member clearly, simply & factually outlining the situation you find yourself in seemingly with less rights that your ex.

Ask them to request both a review of the CSA decision (which will likely result in the status quo being maintained on the basis that its the legislation) and also to request a review of the relevant legislation so as payers in your situation are not summarily disadvanted.

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant."

 
To tackle this from another angle, and assuming I have the facts correct, wouldn't a CoA force the respondent to surrender financial information including recent income(s)?
Sleepy said
To tackle this from another angle, and assuming I have the facts correct, wouldn't a CoA force the respondent to surrender financial information including recent income(s)?

Apparantly not. They can "request" but they can't force. I'm just so disheartened. If it was the payer who moved overseas, I bet the CSA's "powers" would somehow magically increase. But since it's the payee that's moved… well… who cares really.
Complain.
Lodge an official complaint that you are being treated disadvantaged and discriminated against. They have to respond. Complaint to CDDA too, that you are being ripped off because CSA won't do their job and get the correctly income amount for the other parent while they garnish you incorrectly.
Make a noise.
Thanks BDouble. Could you please tell me who the CDDA are?  O_o
http://www.finance.gov.au/financial-framework/discretionary-compensation/cdda-scheme.html
Interesting! Thank you for passing on the information BDouble….   :thumbs:
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