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Can CS be backdated?

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I was assessed as a payer of CS about seven years ago, but my children's mother asked CSA for a non collection order, whatever that means. I did not ask for this to be done, but probably would have appealed the assessment (based on cost of spending time with the children) had she not.

Fast forward and I have just discovered, due to other matters before the court, that she had an income of around $250,000 in the tax year 2010-2011. Prior to this I was of the understanding that she didn't work, had no income and her partner supprted her and the children financially when in her care (we have 50/50 care).

What are my options for pursuing the payment of CS due to those earnings in 2010-2011? I tried calling CSA this afternoon, but they had closed.
I think you first port of call should be to contact the CSA and see what they do, if they come back with "can't do anything", try again (3 or times if necessary). They should really at least contact the other parent and ask them questions (you could bet that they would if the person with the greater income were the liable parent). I would certainly mention the evidence that you have about their income. Expect to hit brick walls as the last thing that the CSA want is to reduce what they can claim to be collected. Hopefully you'll not hit them though.

Otherwise the options are basically a) wait for a tax return to be submitted, if it hasn't already been submitted, which appears to be the case as that would have caused a new and noticeably different assessment or b) to try for a change of assessment under reason 8 (a parent's income, property, financial resources or capacity to earn).

For the first it's a rather late as I think tax returns should be in by November except if you have leave to submit them late which I think is more for small businesses.

The second, change of assessment is quite risky as the CSA very often show bias against the liable parent especially so if you are self-employed or run a small business and even more especially so if that small business involves other family members. However, if the other parent can be shown to be earning that amount (e.g. the evidence from court) then there is likely to be a great benefit from change of assessment. There are plenty of posts on here in regards to reason 8 COA and some of the tactics the CSA employ to exaggerate a liable parent's taxable income.

The former would be backdated to the start of the child support period. A reason 8 can go back as far as 18 months or longer if granted leave to do so by a court under section 112 for up to 7 years.

Another potential line, if the other parent has been claiming Centrelink benefits, is to report this to Centrelink (they are more likely to investigate if they think that there has been a fraud).

You may wish to use the Calculator that is available from the home page or the CSA's estimator to ascertain what the CS would likely be.

You may also wish to check out the CSA Guide (2.4.4 Child Support Income, 2.6.14 for reason 8 COA) Here's a link to the first The CSA Guide - 2.4.4: Child Support Income
I have used the online fraud reporting for CL and they actually do investigate these claims, as long as you give them enough to go on.

You could also mention to C$A that they can request confirmation of earnings direct from the employer. They sometimes do this when people lodge an estimate and the OP objects to its correctness.

For tax returns, if you lodge it yourself, it has to be in by Oct 31. If you have an accountant do it for you, you have until Jun (?) the following year. This could explain the delay in the tax return being submitted.

If the tax return is not submitted by Oct 31, C$A make up their own estimate of the taxable income based on the last fews years of info they have regarding that persons income. This happened to us.

The best option whenever dealing with C$A is to have written proof. Its harder for them to disregard your claim when its staring them in the face, and if they do decide to disregard it, you have an avenue to complain.

In any event, C$A will only change the assessment from the date they receive your request/evidence to change it. They are pretty quick to backdate when a payee withholds care and doubles our monthly obligation, but if you are trying to correct an overpayment, be prepared for delays and no backdating.
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