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Hi all,

Can anyone tell me, at the end of the financial year if I have over paid CS due to care arrangements being different to what we estimated, how is that money recovered/reconciled by CSA. I have read other posts about CSA asking to gift it? How does one head this off if CSA suggests it?
          this is what the CSA guide says (see below), however that's more in relation to an actual change in the level of care, as opposed to a miscalculated level of care. However what should happen is that both parents should be contacted to ascertain, whether or not the level of care is as what the other parent says or is the same as what the CSA may have otherwise determined (e.g. based upon a parenting plan or court orders). I'd suggest that it's not very likely that a wrong estimate confirmed by both parents would lead to a backdated change. However notifying the CSA should result in a change from that time on.

With regards to gifting, it is up to the parent whether or not they gift, the CSA should not be trying to persuade parents to make gifts, they should only let parents know of the option. head it of by saying that you are not willing to gift the overpayment and that you only wish to discuss the overpayment being credited toward future payments.

CSA Guide - 2.2.3: When the care percentage used in an assessment may be changed said
Date of effect of a care change

If CSA is notified or otherwise becomes aware of a change of care within 28 days of the change, the assessment will be amended using the new percentage of care from the date the change of care occurred (section 74A(e)).

If CSA is not notified, or does not become aware, within 28 days, the assessment will generally be amended using the new care percentage from the date CSA was notified of the care change (section 74A(f)).

However if CSA was notified on or after 6 January 2009 of a care change within 28 days of the change occurring and the care changed prior to 6 January 2009, the CSA could only amend the person's percentage of care from 6 January 2009. This is because the legislation that amended the care provisions to allow changes in care to be backdated up to 28 days in some circumstances only took effect from 6 January 2009 (Part 1, Schedule 3 to the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Further 2008 Budget and Other Measures) Act 2008) (the Further 2008 Budget Measures Act).


M called CSA on 23 January 2009 to advise of a care change that occurred on 3 January 2009. CSA contacted the other parent F who confirmed that the care changed on that date. As CSA was notified within 28 days of the care change CSA changed the parents' percentages of care and amended the assessment from 6 January 2009 (the date that the change to the provisions commenced).

If, while CSA is considering whether a care determination should be made, a parent or non-parent carer makes an application for an interim care determination (section 52) or a below regular care determination (section 53), the care period will continue to be measured from the date CSA was first notified or otherwise became aware of a change in the care arrangements. If the assessment is amended, it will be amended from the date the issue of the care percentage was first raised.


M calls CSA on 1 July 2009 and asks that their court order be reflected in the assessment. CSA determines that the care period will start on 1 July 2009 and will run for 12 months from that date. During CSAs investigation of the care arrangements, F confirms that there is a court order however F advises that it is not being complied with and, on July 10, requests that an interim care determination is made (section 52). If CSA determines that it is appropriate for an interim care determination to be made, the assessment will be amended from 1 July 2009, the date that CSA first became aware that the care percentage may need to be changed.

WA ex-nuptial cases and decisions made prior to 6 January 2009

The Further 2008 Budget Measures Act amended sections 48, 52, 74A and 75 from 6 January 2009. See Chapter 2.2.1 for information on those changes. Those amendments do not apply to WA ex-nuptial cases or to decisions made prior to 6 January 2009.

Thanks. I think the level will not be as estimated. As she is estimating my 2 teenagers will spend over the 52 or 55 days that changes whether it is shared care or not. Realisticly I don't think they will spend that much time there, you know how active teenagers social lives are. So at the momont I agreeing to the 8 weeks but am arming myself if and when this is not the case.
Don't get conned into gifting, ever.  I was talking to a CSA officer the other day (in person) and she admitted that a COA application often follows hard on the heels of a gift, because the payee assumes that if the payer has enough money to gift $$ over, then he must be in a position to pay more CS.  So it seems the C$A may use the gifting ploy to get double brownie points when the hapless payers then have to cave in to the ensuing COA.
Our COA came within days (probably hours if you take postage time out of the equation) of us being tricked into gifting almost $1500.  That amount represents a quite a few months' worth of future payments to us.  And, now that we are a little more informed, is now in the hands of CSA Objections.
One would think that an important request from CSA such as gifting must surely be in writing outlining options and requesting signatures, - not by way of a quick phone call,.. so don't get caught out!
If you do not have a sudden epiphany to give thousands of $$ to your ex for no apparent reason, then don't let CSA lead you to believe it will be problematic if you don't!
        thanks for highlighting that, I wasn't aware of that. Considering that it would very likely be a cross team activity I'm wondering if the system actually flags gifting so that the COA team are automatically informed. Whichever way it happens, I believe that's it unethical. I wonder if your source would further elaborate if this only happens if it is the liable parent or that recipients are also considered for COA, if they gift. It could also perhaps be considered a privacy breach as the information, that is the fact of the act of a gifting, should not be used for other purposes.

Is anybody else aware of this happening?
Update - gifting and COAs are definitely linked. In our case the payee made mention of it quite recently in her response to our cross application to her COA. In other words she was saying that if he could afford to gift over $1500, then he can obviously pay more CS.
Our gifting objection has just been granted an extension of time, which was good of CSA because it goes back to September last year. We managed to prove that we made multiple calls to CSA trying to understand how we were that far in advance, and the CSA's odd procedure of making a quick phone call regarding the gifting. I'll post an update on the outcome, but obviously it could be a couple of months away.
Another interesting point is, a couple of days ago we recieved a new assessment.  In that letter it states that   "You have paid the payee too much CS. Please call if you wish to discuss this. If you want payee to keep the money we will need your permission".    The amount is just under $100. So they have put that amount in writing, but when it comes to $1500 it's a quick, and rather confusing, phone call??
There'll be no more gifting from these black ducks!!
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