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Child Support Case in NZ

A payer in difficulty with interpretation of New Zealand rules for an Australian resident

I was referred to this site from Dadsindistress that you may be able to provide some advice.

I am divorced since 2004 and was separated from my ex-wife since 2001. I was living in NZ as permanent resident until 2002 when I moved to Australia and I am still living here.

I used to pay child support payments in NZ since separation to IRD Child support and continued to do so also when I was living in Australia.

Last October, to my surprise, I received several letters from IRD child support (New Zealand) stating that my amount payable for child support has been retrospectively re-assessed for the years between 2004 to 2007 and I would owe them more than $NZ30,000 and should pay that within a month otherwise penalties apply. First I was totally shocked and disdorught about this because I always told IRD about my circumstances and where I am.

I launched initial objections against these re-assessments, but without any success. I tried to get legal advice from a NZ Barrister, which took me some 3 months or so to organise. Since then I tried to negotiate that they would agree to cancel some of the debt offering them some lump sum payment and some in monthly installments. They refused this arguing they are not allowed to cancel any debt. I am not sure now what else I can do, and my NZ Barrister thinks there is no legal challange possible because the law is completely stacked against me (I consider the law unconstitutional because its unfair, biased, gives disproportionate power to IRD and leaves me with now rights). I am not sure if it is worth trying to negotiate further with them.

I have to say that I have paid all required payments since the re-assessments, because I do not object against the assessment as such but against the retrospective nature. I am the opinion (and that is how it worked in NZ and that is how it works in Australia (my ex moved to Australia recently and therefore I now pay child support here) that IRD (they are the tax department) has the obligation to obtain and seek all income information they require to make a proper assessment and if they have problems with it, than they should specifically request it (but everyone had to make a tax return anyway or at least has income information with the tax department).

I am wondering if anyone can provide any further assistance or advice on this matter.

Regards

Peter

Last edit: by OneRingRules

Guest Peter said
I am divorced since 2004 and was separated from my ex-wife since 2001. I was living in NZ as permanent resident until 2002 when I moved to Australia and I am still living here.

I used to pay child support payments in NZ since separation to IRD Child support and continued to do so also when I was living in Australia.

Last October, to my surprise, I received several letters from IRD child support (New Zealand) stating that my amount payable for child support has been retrospectively reassessed for the years between 2004 to 2007 and I would owe them more than $NZ30,000 and should pay that within a month otherwise penalties apply. First I was totally shocked and distraught about this because I always told IRD about my circumstances and where I am.

I launched initial objections against these re-assessments, but without any success. I tried to get legal advice from a NZ Barrister, which took me some 3 months or so to organise. Since then I tried to negotiate that they would agree to cancel some of the debt offering them some lump sum payment and some in monthly installments. They refused this arguing they are not allowed to cancel any debt.
Firstly were you self employed in New Zealand? and are you self employed in Australia? This is important as the IRD are required to use your tax return for calculations and there must be some discrepancy they have discovered for them to reassess the older returns. Assessment is as here based on "Taxable earnings" with everything added back to make that calculation.

Has you "ex" terminated her arrangements with New Zealand IRD and filed a final tax return in NZ (IRD = ATO)
Guest Peter said
I am not sure now what else I can do, and my NZ Barrister thinks there is no legal challenge possible because the law is completely stacked against me (I consider the law unconstitutional because its unfair, biased, gives disproportionate power to IRD and leaves me with now rights). I am not sure if it is worth trying to negotiate further with them.
Whatever you think about the ";law"; won't help. We have found that out the hard way over the years. Legislation is what these public servants work with and they administer to the "nth" degree with a zealous protection second to none. In Australia we are finding that the Agency is changing and becoming more case and management focused. After all a bankrupt Payer is of no use to either the CSA or the Payee.

Our contacts in New Zealand say that the IRD reins supreme and that it is doubtful a court challenge to their rulings will be very successful. This matter will come down to dealing with a ;senior case officer to see what the issues are and resolve them to the satisfaction of the department. Of course if the mother was to forgive some of this debt she is able ;to do so. But why should she at this stage.

What impact does this amendment have?

ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.
Child Support Amendment Bill - New Zealand

I also assume you are looking directly at the special New Zealand site



Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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