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Child Support (Assessment) Act : Departures : Section 117 (2) (c) (ia)

Change of Assessment Reason 8A justification

Hi,

I will be representing myself at an AAT hearing into a Change of Assessment : Special Circumstances regarding the CSA's determination of my Taxable Income. I am attempting to understand the Act, which allows a CSA decision maker to depart from the standard formula used to determine a payee's taxable income, and substitute their own figure. Specifically, under what conditions they are allowed to depart.

In the Objection Decision, the CSA officer states that the departure is permitted under : Section 98C (1)(b) of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989. :

"(1)(b) the Registrar is satisfied : (I) that one, or more than one,  of the grounds for departure referred to in subsection (2) exists, and …"

subsection (2) states that the grounds for departure are the same as those specified in subsections 117(2) and subsections 117(3A) to (3C).

Most of the clauses in subsection 117(2) and 117(3A) to (3C) are very specific about conditions that need to exist before a departure can be made. None of these apply to my specific case.

However, subsection 117(2)©(ia) states the following :
"(2) For the purposes of subparagraph (1)(b)(I), the grounds for departure are as follows :
[…]
© that, in the special circumstances of the case, application in relation to the child of the provisions of this Act relating to administrative assessment of child support would result in an unjust and inequitable determination of the level of financial support to be provided by the liable parent for the child :
[…]
(ia) because of the income, property and financial resources of either parent; or
[…]
"
This subsection (ia) appears to me to be incredibly vague, and would allow the decision maker to depart from the administrative assessment almost at will !?

If the CSA does not use the ATO's assessed Taxable Income figure, how do they determine, or even 'define' Income ?

To date, in my specific case, using the exact same set of financials, the CSA have determined 3 different 'Income' amounts.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Kind Regards

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Last edit: by OneRingRules

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