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CSA error in calculation cause of debt

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CSA error in initial calculation in 2009 has resulted in a debt of $8442 to be paid from April 2011

I have just been notified by the CSA that I have a debt of $8442.75 which has accrued due to an error in their initial calculations.

Given the circumstances of this I am in the process of writing a complaint.

I am wondering if this debt is something that the CSA should be paying rather than myself given that it was they who have made the error.
I should point out that I have been a regular payee from day 1, paying the amount that the CSA instructed me to pay.
If my company quotes for a job and subsequently finds that they have made an error like this, they would have to bear the consequences.

I had a 50:50 care arrangement in 2009, which my ex decided to change when she stopped my daughter from seeing me in June 2009.  As a result, she also contacted the CSA later that same year to arrange for child support payments.  I was confortable with the amount that the CSA told me to pay at the time so didn't challenge my ex through court as I had hope to spare my daughter any further grief.  Foolishly I was hoping to negotiate with my ex in order to return the care arrangement back to what it was.

Had I known then that the amount was 3 to 4 times higher I certainly would have started court proceedings to get a parenting plan put in place.
The CSA has effectively robbed me of the opportunity to challenge this and as a result I have ended up with a debt which I knew nothing about until now.

I would appreciate any advice that you can provide on whether I have a case that the CSA needs to answer and is so how best to tackle them?

As a side note, I was married to my new wife before the CSA was brought into this.  I'm confused as to why they fail to take my full circumstances into consideration. In other words my wife was on single parenting and low income allowances to help support her and her 2 children when I met her and these have been taken away as a result of us geeting married.  As such she is reliant on me financially but the CSA refuse to acknowledge.

Is this fair given that this debt and ongoing costs could effectively result in her and her children being made to suffer?
ozzypomandy said
I am wondering if this debt is something that the CSA should be paying rather than myself given that it was they who have made the error.

The legislation is very protective of the commonwealth and of the registrar (The CSA) and it is highly unlikely that the CSA would cover their negligence. There is an ongoing witch-hunt being undertaken by the CSA to redo assessments in order to find means of generating arrears. This is all linked to the fact that Child Support is, in all but name, a tax due to the clawback through FTB as for a $1 collected or transferred 50c is reaped in clawback of FTB.

As such if the arrears are correctly calculated you'd have little ground for anything other than complaining. However, if you could prove that their calculations are wrong then you may have grounds for a reduction of the arrears.

As for fairness, it is well accepted that CS legislation is not fair and is in itself systemic abuse of children by the way of exploitation of children for monetary gain. The amounts are based upon a cost of children that is something likes 10 times greater that real costs of children again very convenient for the taxable nature of CS (the basis of the cost of children comes out at it costing something over $500,000 for a child and that was when the average income was under $50,000) . The legislation also contains bias towards the recipient and parts that effectively condone the denial of the humane rights of children. The CSA's policies are even worse. For example the CSA will always try to coax a parent who has overpaid into gifting that overpayment (as it then reduces the FTB clawback), but never make any attempt to gift arrears.
Thanks for that Mike.

Very disheartening to hear that I and my new family are going to suffer because of this.
This is not going to make life easy for my wife or her kids.

How unjust is this system that in order to make one person's life joyous as a result of her infidelity that others are made to suffer.
My wife doesn't deserve that and neither do her kids.

Sad to say but she would definitely be better off had she not met me!
ozzypomandy said
…..I had a 50:50care arrangement in 2009, which my ex decided to change when she stopped my daughter from seeing me in June 2009.
CSA have limits as to how far they can go back under different circumstances. Look into that in relation to this matter.
ozzypomandy said
As a result, she also contacted the CSA later that same year to arrange for child support payments. I was comfortable with the amount that the CSA told me to pay at the time so didn't challenge my ex through court as I had hope to spare my daughter any further grief. Foolishly I was hoping to negotiate with my ex in order to return the care arrangement back to what it was.

Had I known then that the amount was 3 to 4 times higher I certainly would have started court proceedings to get a parenting plan put in place.
The CSA has effectively robbed me of the opportunity to challenge this and as a result I have ended up with a debt which I knew nothing about until now.
Why can't you commence proceedings to get back the care arrangements you previously enjoyed but were arbitrarily and without explanation taken away? Start the process through a phone call to your local or nearest FRC and get into a mediation session…
ozzypomandy said
I would appreciate any advice that you can provide on whether I have a case that the CSA needs to answer and is so how best to tackle them?
Unfortunately the CSA, like other Governmental Agencies, are all care no responsibility. The remedies to recover are not insignificant in relation to time, energy and monies in court proceedings. You could work out a payment plan with them and that plan can be tagged into your payroll deductions. You could look at offering say $1000.00 pa or so, paid with yr PAYE deduction . I would certainly be indicating that you have other commitments and it is their error although I would be looking at the basis on how the amount changed AFTER you had been given instruction on what to pay. They will have a record of that advice.
ozzypomandy said
As a side note, I was married to my new wife before the CSA was brought into this. I'm confused as to why they fail to take my full circumstances into consideration. In other words my wife was on single parenting and low income allowances to help support her and her 2 children when I met her and these have been taken away as a result of us getting married. As such she is reliant on me financially but the CSA refuse to acknowledge.

Is this fair given that this debt and ongoing costs could effectively result in her and her children being made to suffer?
The CSA have posted here on that very point. CSA comments around new partners

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
 
Mike T is right - the CSA is conducting a witch-hunt - they are only now reconciling accounts for which they have had taxation information for years. My partner had his account reconciled back 14 years and was advised of arrears amounting to approx $15,000. With a lot of time and effort we were able to prove the CSA wrong and the amount was reduced down to $3,000. They have still not been able to provide any evidence to support this amount.
What error did they actually make? Did they use wrong income amounts in the initial calculations or was it due to another reason?

From your post it sounds like it has something to do with the care arrangements and this is what caused the debt, however as Secretary SPCA said, CSA can only go back a maximum of 28 days for a change in care unless they decide to revoke care under section 54G of the assessment act.
Sorry if this comes up twice - I think I also posted it as a 'guest'.

Burbs, it had nothing to do with care arrangements. They decided to reconcile my partner's account on the pretence that it had not been done any time in the previous 12 years. They reconciled 'estimates' that had not been provided by my partner and for which they had no documented evidence. They also tried to reconcile income amounts that had been set by departure.

We were able to prove, using only their own documentation, that they were wrong - but it took 18 months. They are still going after $3,000. They have still been unable to provide any logical or transparent reasoning for this decision. In addition the SSAT upheld the appeal and said they couldn't do it, yet the CSA has failed to implement it. They have 'backdated' decisions and circumvented the objection process in an attempt to save face rather than just admit they have made a mistake.

We are now heading back to the SSAT.

In addition, in good faith my partner entered into a payment plan for the alleged debt, on the understanding that, should the SSAT uphold his appeal and find in his favour (meaning no debt) that he would have the money repaid by the CSA/payee. The agreed amount has been paid on time each month yet the CSA has now decided with no reference back to my partner to garnishee his wages AND increase the monthly payment by 600% (yes you read that correctly.) The CSA has also advised that they have the discretion NOT to recover the money should it be found it was paid in error (a CSA error).  
      
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