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Arrears caused by CSA not sending the correct letters

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Recently we received letters stating he was in arrears by just over $8,000 NZ.We never got any letters stating he wasn't paying enough or when he rang over the years did they tell him that.

Hey, my partner pays child support for a child in Australia, and we live in New Zealand.

Recently we received letters stating he was in arrears by just over $8,000 NZ. We never got any letters stating he wasn't paying enough or when he rang over the years did they tell him that. When we got the letters my partner had to take the day off work to sort this out.

When he rang CSA, they then said it was their fault by not sending the correct letters to my partner and NZ IRD, but he still had to pay arrears caused by their mistake.

How can you justify that and what can we do?

CSA sent my partner how much he's paid since 2009 then yesterday we got the "change of Assessment in special circumstances - Application and were told to use reason 8. What I don't get about that is why is our financial circumstances have anything to do with the mother, when she is married and got other children. My partner has had nothing to do with her in years and yet CSA want our financial circumstances to give to her. Will we get all of her's and her husbands financial details as well??? The last my partner heard she owns a house in Australia with her husband???? Wouldn't that affect my partners child support???

They sent him his transaction statement starting from Jan 2009 to may 2011.

Would like to know what we can do from NZ.

Modified and merged a guest post and this post

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

CSA wont pass on your specific financial details to her, all she will really know is his annual taxable income. you will be able to see her taxable income on your assessment notice just as she can see yours. As for the rest, as unfair as it sounds, unless you have a good argument about severe financial hardship etc, you will likely need to pay. In my case my ex did not lodge a tax return for quite some time. when he finally lodged them they made him pay me what he should have been paying, they increased the monthly amount, gave me extra to pay off the arrears and i got a lump sum from his tax return. Not sure how they will work this with you being over seas though.

At the end of the day its money that should have been paid anyway to help in the costs of raising this child. Its money that this child has gone without and her marital situation doesn't change the childs financial needs or responsibilities. Just because she owns a house doesnt mean anything. Plenty of people own houses and still live on low incomes. The financial responsibilities of this child lie with the mother and father, not the step father. And if your partners had nothing to do with her in years, That must be all the more reason for him to pay up. He managed to make this child……..

I dont mean to be rude, but make a payment plan, give them his tax return and be responsible for your children. The only person your short changing is the child.

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Last edit: by MikeT

butterfly said
CSA wont pass on your specific financial details to her, all she will really know is his annual taxable income. you will be able to see her taxable income on your assessment notice just as she can see yours. As for the rest, as unfair as it sounds, unless you have a good argument about severe financial hardship etc, you will likely need to pay. In my case my ex did not lodge a tax return for quite some time. when he finally lodged them they made him pay me what he should have been paying, they increased the monthly amount, gave me extra to pay off the arrears and i got a lump sum from his tax return. Not sure how they will work this with you being over seas though.

At the end of the day its money that should have been paid anyway to help in the costs of raising this child. Its money that this child has gone without and her marital situation doesn't change the childs financial needs or responsibilities. Just because she owns a house doesnt mean anything. Plenty of people own houses and still live on low incomes. The financial responsibilities of this child lie with the mother and father, not the step father. And if your partners had nothing to do with her in years, That must be all the more reason for him to pay up. He managed to make this child……..

I dont mean to be rude, but make a payment plan, give them his tax return and be responsible for your children. The only person your short changing is the child.
 
What an offensive response. Firstly, the child has not "gone without". The original poster made it clear that the payments have been made in accordance with their assessed obligation. Second, the arrears was generated by the incompetence of the CSA, not by any failure on the part of the payer. thirdly, there is no evidence whatever that the father wants to avoid his obligations. your snide remark "be responsible for your children" was completely uncalled for. I might as well say to you "stop ripping off your ex" with just as much justification.

As for "the money should have been paid anyway", there is no evidence that is the case, merely a claim by the CSA. As a payer who has had to fight this grossly inept tax collection organisation for years, I can assure you that what is claimed and what is owed are not the same thing in many cases. The Act is not designed to provide for the child, but to claw back some of the cost of taxpayer support for women who choose not to work.

You say "plenty of people own houses and still live on low incomes", which may be true, but it doesn't apply to CSA payers, many of whom cannot even reliably operate a bank account for fear of having the CSA steal ("garnishment" is legal theft) what's in it. You live in a fantasy world, supported by the money of the man you don't want to be with. So much for "independence".

To address the OP, the reason for the COA application being provided was so you could make a claim to have the assessment adjusted. You need to be able to show that you will have less than the self-support amount if you pay this additional impost. I agree with you that it is unreasonable to expect you to pay an increased assessment simply because the CSA couldn't get their sums right in the first place, but this is all part of the game. They have a "reconciliation" program going at the moment, where they're looking back over 10 years to see if there's any way they can extort a bit more from fathers. Funny that even the smallest business has to reconcile monthly, but a government Department only has to do it every 10 years, but that's the wonderful world of Feminism in action. Good luck.
Butterfly, that's money that has already been paid for your information!!! My partner does take responsibility for his daughter even though he's never met her or held her or even seen her!!!! The mother left NZ before she had the child, all the time she was with someone else!! The money for arrears is caused from CSA not sending the correct letters or telling him on the phone when he rang he wasn't paying enough not from him not paying on time or paying at all. We are not trying to get out of "his responsibility" as all we wanted to know is what we could doabout CSA? So really what did you have to say to help!!!
To correct myself above, I should have said that you'll need to show that there is a reason that the CSA have their assessment wrong or that you are unable to pay, which is why you have the CoA form, I suspect. I do get annoyed at the nasty slurs put forward by some people, and I didn't make myself very clear this morning.
Butterfly said
CSA wont pass on your specific financial details to her, all she will really know is his annual taxable income. you will be able to see her taxable income on your assessment notice just as she can see yours.

This is in fact wrong. The CSA have to inform the other parent, to allow that parent to receive procedural fairness, and thus provide all financial details, other than information that is protected by privacy laws, which is basically information that would identify (e.g. employer name). However, the CSA have a track record of not adequately protecting such information (e.g. crossed out but visible when held up to light, a host of such information left on a train etc.).

I don't think a change of assessment is valid under the child support agreement with NZ. This appears, according to the CSA Guide, to only cater for administrative assessment (the proper legal name for COA is a departure from administrative assessment).

The COA process is notoriously biased against the paying parent (this is confirmed by a report from the ombudsman (a search for ombudsman on here would reveal a link to the report), often termed "deem and destroy". I also believe that the CSA have no powers in regard to collecting information other than in Australia. As such a departure could very well not be considered to be just and equitable. It may be that the CSA could try via your own equivalent (not sure about that). Did you ask for a COA or are the CSA trying to get you into doing one? If the latter, the likely advices is don't go there. If the former, beware; specially a reason 8, where time and time again the evidence points to the CSA applying different standards, in contravention of the very object and of the published intention of the CS legislation.

As for generating arrears through re-hashing assessments. As Craigo rightly says there is an ongoing project and it does appear to be allowed under the legislation and for yourself under the agreement between Australia and NZ.
butterfly said
CSA wont pass on your specific financial details to her, all she will really know is his annual taxable income.
Are you sure about this? I have had some CSA customers show me COA applications from the other party that have a 25mm high pile of papers that includes bank account statements, credit card statements with transactions etc.. Every page except page 1 the confidential data page of the COA application is made available.  That shows all regular household expenses, bank accounts etc.

I think in this case they have been responsible and the CSA have been delinquent here. It appears it is the CSA who should be doing some SERIOUS grovelling and looking at how to fix this. At the least I would expect them to send an apology letter with some generous options.



Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
wow way to start a bun fight.
CSA have a job to do. Im sorry if i offended any one. I am under no delusion and i believe that yes this is a mistake from CSA but mistake or not, it has to be paid. I would be upset too if i had paid everything they told me to pay and then decided that it was wrong and i owed them money, but to talk about challenging it? really? If you think that the arrears is an error then by all means challenge their decision but if not, pay up. Its money that was under paid. Im not claiming the child hs been adversley affected by this under payment due to CSA but if the CSA info was correct, you would have paid this money over time. I dont see the issue here, If CSA is wrong in thinking you owe money, then call them, if you owe it, even if it was their mistake, pay it. Simple.
Interesting engagement in these posts but I think we are all intact... There is no doubt that funds are probably due, but all I am suggesting is that the CSA show some reasonableness in dealing with this matter and outline how the arrears have occurred. We have not heard that they are not though, and have suggested a form 8 application. The reason that the financial circumstances of both parents are required is that is how the formula is calculated. See the CSA section of the site here under "Web Guide" and the CSA formula site calculators along with the advanced calculator in particular for all the breakdown and explanations of each section.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
If CSA had the CORRECT INFORMATION at the start there wouldn't be any arrears I'm sure. Yes CSA do have a job to be done but not at the expense of the paying parent just because CSA never sent the letters or bothered to inform the paying parent on the phone that they were not paying enough. If they had done this in 2009 would there be any arrears now??? No!!!

That's a bit harsh, Butterfly simple pay up!!! Why should they have to pay for CSA'S mistake? CSA should have informed the paying parent of the problem then not wait till 2yrs later and start sending letters.
Thanks Craigo, Secretary SPCA and Mike T for all your helpful infromation helps me out alot.

Mike T- CSA told my partner he had to fill it out because he was declaring our 2 small children thats he's had since they were born and that form could help to make his assessments correct?? We were very confussed by this as when we read that form it states nowhere for him to declare our children. So I started thinking maybe they had sent the wrong form? This is such a daunting process and very frustrating.

Craigo thanks for clearing that up!! Starting to get a better understanding of CSA and how it does things.
butterfly said
wow way to start a bun fight.
CSA have a job to do. Im sorry if i offended any one. I am under no delusion and i believe that yes this is a mistake from CSA but mistake or not, it has to be paid. I would be upset too if i had paid everything they told me to pay and then decided that it was wrong and i owed them money, but to talk about challenging it? really? If you think that the arrears is an error then by all means challenge their decision but if not, pay up. Its money that was under paid. Im not claiming the child hs been adversley affected by this under payment due to CSA but if the CSA info was correct, you would have paid this money over time. I dont see the issue here, If CSA is wrong in thinking you owe money, then call them, if you owe it, even if it was their mistake, pay it. Simple.

Let's look at the reverse situation. You're obviously a recipient of CS, so let's assume that CSa send you a letter saying "so sorry, we screwed up and you've been overpaid to the tune of $8000. Pay up or else" Do you "pay up" or do you say "too bad, you made the mistake, you fix it"?

Yes, I know that would never happen, since CSA exists to extort money from payers, not payees, but have a go at it anyway.
CSA made a mistake causing myself to have overpayed $5k


ex gets legal aid solicitor not private but funded by legal aid


applied to minister financial services to have this discharged - denied

then applied to federal magistrates court for departure order

magistrate walked into chambers and first words were how much child support doesnt he want to pay.

my rep corrected magistrate advising overpayment and ex wanting this wiped.

judge ordered adjournment of 1 hour and stated clearly she was leaning toward discharging entire amount so I would be in arrears  for monies csa had credited against arrears.

My choice discharge all monies not yet collected and not be in arrears or have the magistrate discharging everything putting me in arrears. mmmm lotsa choice there.

no evidence required by magistrate to prove or disprove situation.

SSAT hearing found ex had incorrectly claimed CS 2 yrs prior to seperation.

again overpayment this time 15k

CSA gifted this overpayment using the loophole that as case was not legally registered any monies they collected and paid to ex by emptying my bank accounts, taking my tax returns etc etc leaving me to have to live off others  and not be able to see my children was not in there power to recoup as case not legally registered at  the time.

go to federal magistrates court  seeking an order for these moneys to be returned to me.

different magistrate says these monies benefitted your children so tough case dismissed.

no questioning of proof kids been living out of baked bean cans whilst mother had dinner parties and bought new hubby car new laptop LCD TV etc.

There are NO laws which allow for collection of overpayed CS yet CS debt continues after death and bankruptcy.

something wrong with that

something also wrong when csa can empty your bank accounts and continue to have all incoming monies transferred to themselves with no thought or consideration of what you require to survive.Clearly  if you have a csa debt you can survive on thin air.



So yes csa acted on incorrect information and made my life hell and when I finally proved it 10 yrs later they said to bad so sad and  the federal magistrates court just reiterated it.

Is it any wonder everyone who has had a 19 yr old CSA case manager point the big stick at them dislikes CSA?

Is it any wonder people think the magistrates have only hammer men in mind when a magistrate does not even look at the papers prior to walking into court and has already made up their mind that it must be another deadbeat dad trying to get out of paying for his kids they have to deal with?

just my rant

You can fool some of the people some of the time but you cant fool all of the people all of  the time unless they work for CSA and youre a Payee:)
Ok well the COA is valid in NZ. Seriously CSA how can you justify YOUR mistake and fault by making the paying parent pay for it!!!!
I have no faith in this system what's so ever,especially for the paying parent!!!! CSA should be held accountable for their incompatence!!!!
THAT IS ALL!!!!! :(
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