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How to prove advance payment?

Payments have been privately collected until last month.

Payments are paid fortnightly, a month in advance at payees request.

Payee claims payments are in arrears. CSA believe payee without any evidence.

Bank statements for whole period sent to CSA for investigation to prove total amount paid and current status of payment a month in advance.

CSA decision is to wipe out alleged arrears claimed by payee. YAY at least it's half a win!

CSA advise that advance payments cannot be taken into account as they were privately collected.

So payer loses 1 months C$ which is a sizable amount. Payer is penalised for accepting payees request to keep payments a month in advance to assist with payees household budget and commitments.

I have read through the CS Assessment Act and CS Collection Act. I can find reference to maximum amount of arrears that payee can claim/allege but no reference to any amount that payer can claim as creditable to the ongoing liability. Verbal information from CSA has said it's a "tough luck" situation but surely there's some protection for payers when dealing with this kind of payee. Does anyone know the relevant part of the Act(s) that may be of assistance in this situation? It's not about the money, it's about the principle now.
Basically I think that you should rely upon the requirement that all decisions must be just and equitable, this is I believe in both the Child Support legislation and also in the APS legislation. Perhaps ask them to explain, why they consider "tuff luck" as just and equitable.
LilsMum

Firstly, on the subject of who the CSA believes about payments being in arrears, this is one of the few situations where the Guide specifies who has the burden of proof, and gives valid reasons for the payer having the burden of proof regarding arrears. Basically, it is easy for the payer to prove payments have been made, as you have done.  It is impossible to prove payments have not been made, so the requirement for the payer to provide the proof is actually reasonable in this circumstance.

In relation to your situation, my first suggestion is that you or the person you are helping stop talking to CSA and put everything in writing.

It is very easy to get in a muddle with all the dates and amounts, so it is best to put everything very clearly in writing and insist on written answers.

What do you already have in writing? It hard to know what to suggest without knowing that.

If you just have a letter saying that the agency will commence collection from a certain date,I suggest you write to CSA  pointing out that although collection was requested from a certain date, payment had been made by private collection up to and including a later date and that has been proven. Also ask for confirmation that the account reflects the amount already paid.

If you have it in writing that the advance payment will be considered not to have been made, you will need to object to that decision.



We received a letter from CSA advising that they would be collecting from then on (this part is fine - preferrably actually). Letter also advised that payee had reported an arrears amount.

Reply letter sent to CSA outlining every payment from day dot and supporting bank statements to verify. The balance was 4 weeks in advance.

CSA agreed that there were no arrears as we had provided evidence - this was verbal, still awaiting letter though.
In same conversation they said that there was no provision in the Acts for advance payments to be taken into account as a credit/offset prior to CSA collecting and that C$ payments would proceed as is - I told them that we did not feel that this was just and that we would object, I requested confirmation in writing prior to next payment being paid and it is not yet here however C$ payment was due 7/7. We prefer to pay on time which is why I'm getting my research ready to go. I don't want to call them to check on it as I've learned to keep conversations to an absolute minimum.

I have strong suspicions that the payee may frequent this site so I have tried not to mention too many details… :ninja:
have you read section 5.3 of the guide. What that says is that if a binding or court order exists the CSA must consider credited lump sum payments. It doesn't say they must refuse others. Surely to be fair a lump sum payment up front made due to other means should be treated as one of the must lump sum payments.


Next, have yuo looked at section 5.5 of the guide. It's about overpayments. perhaps this is the most compelling sentence in the preamble. :-

It is important for CSA to deal with overpayments in a way that is consistent with the objects of both child support Acts and fair to both parents.
I would, in writing, demand that the registrar make a decision under s123A (1) of the CS A Act that the money paid was a lump sum and should be 100% offset against the liability.  In particular:

 (3)   An order under subsection (1):
   (a)   must specify the amount of the lump sum payment; and
   (b)   must specify that the lump sum payment is to be credited against 100%, or another specified percentage that is less than 100%, of the amounts payable under the liability.
 
It wasn't really a lump sum payment - approx 6 months ago payee asked to get another payment in advance to help with commitments for their home. Payer obliged. Payer was already paying a fortnight in advance at this point so it took it to a month in advance.

I did see section 5.3 in the guide, however from my experience with C$A the "guide" is only a "guide" and open to interpretation which is why I was looking for a legislative reference specific to advance/overpayments prior to C$A collecting. There's a reference to C$A collecting arrears for the last 3-9 months prior to C$A collecting but not the other way. The payer doesn't want the amount repaid to him/her, simply for it to be credited as a payment. It doesn't seem fair or equitable for the payer to have to pay for a month of C$ that he/she has already paid and provided evidence to verify.

I thought perhaps S38B of the CS Collection Act may help but it's more for clearing arrears/liability if certain criteria are met - I guess technically the amount in question is now arrears…

ection1;}–>38B  Decision by Registrar based on payment record and other factors


             (1)  The Registrar may decide that an enforceable maintenance liability should no longer be enforced under this Act if all the following conditions are met:

                     (a)  the payer is taken, under the regulations, to have a satisfactory payment record in relation to the previous 6 months;

                     (b)  the Registrar is satisfied that the payer is likely to continue to have a satisfactory payment record;

                     ©  the Registrar is satisfied that a decision under this section is appropriate in relation to the liability.

 
I'll have another read of both Acts and the guide and see how I go. I thought perhaps a member may have gone through the same situation and could shed light. It seems the Acts only allow for payers that do not pay their C$ liability, it doesn't take into account payers who religiously make their payments. The only references to overpayments are those relating to after C$A are collecting -administrative errors, non-agency payments and the like.

I'll keep this thread updated as I go through the process, it may help someone else one day.
LilsMum perception is a fine tool to use in ones favor.

I can understand why Bigred has suggested it is a lump sum. It was an advance payment of one month or a lump sum payment of X dollars. As this payment was not yet due and the person not entitled to it you obliged a request for a lump sum payment of x dollars.

If introduced in this way would it be considered a lump sum ??
I guess technically any sum in a lump sum isn't it? Worth considering…

C$A called today and said they had done all they could and that they had considered the evidence supplied and agreed with the payer that there was no arrears but that for any additional amounts paid prior to C$A Collecting to be credited we would have to object formally. It's funny how they can enforce arrears for the 3 months prior but won't apply a credit for extra payments…

Should have the letter from them early next week then onto the objection. Fun.
I'm not sure but perhaps you could consider attempting to recover the amounts, given in good faith to be child support payments, outside of the CSA arena, which may then include the additional costs of such recovery. Perhaps via small claims. However don't take my word for it but it could be an avenue worth exploring and hopefully if I'm way off then someone could say so.
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