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Can a payee dispute the estimate of income submitted by the payer, or do I have to apply for a change of assessment?
Yes, if there is supporting evidence.

Here's an extract from the CSA Guide:
The CSA GUide - 2.5.1: Estimates of Income said
CSA can review a parent's estimate at any time if it is notified or becomes aware of an event, information or change of circumstances which might affect the rate of child support payable.

Similar question

I just got off phone to CSA.

Ex was unemployed last year (her choice) and her she rang and got her income dropped to estimated $12k. My CSA payments went up accordingly.

She now has a FT job and I am still paying at the $12K Rate. She will earn between $40-$45K.

She rang CSA and they noted her working from June. She didn't have to give them income figure. They didn't seem to care.

I rang them and asked why no change. Was advised will stay as is till she lodges 09/10 tax.

They said that if I got a promotion now with extra $20K then same would apply to me. The $20K would be mine ands she would have non of it until I lodge next tax return 09/10.

I think I am being told some porkies here.

How come estimates only work downwards? Is this correct?
I believe that the CSA should be obliged to undertake a review of the estimate, the guide only says they can (doesn't say they cannot), the legislation (section 63 of the Child Support Assessment Act) allows the registrar(CSA) to do this, and therefore to not do so would be unfair to the child and to one of the parents as the correct distribution of CS would not be in place.

I think you yet again need to contact the CSA, and state that you believe that it is only fair to the child and both parents that a review of the estimate is made and that this is backdated to when the CSA were informed that the estimate provided was obviously no longer and accurate estimate. If they refuse to backdate it to when they were informed, then I'd suggest using the CSA's complaints process, using the Ombudsman's process, and seeking compensation for the backdated period.

If they refuse either, then you could consider a reason 8 change of assessment (as well as complaining as above and perhaps taking the decision to not review the estimate to SSAT), and that the special circumstances are that the parent is obviously earning considerably more than the estimate that they have provided.

In fact you could even use the following extract from the guide (P.S. I'd recommend have a good look at section 2.5.1 of the CSA's guide and perhaps the legislation):
The CSA Guide - 2.5.1: Estimates of Income said
Most estimates are reviewed under section 63A when the parent informs CSA of a change in their income or when CSA otherwise becomes aware that the estimate may no longer be accurate.


M becomes unemployed and lodges an estimate in June. On 1 October M starts a new job. On 10 October M calls CSA, advises of the income change and lodges a new estimate. CSA will accept the new estimate but will not amend Ms previous estimate. Ms previous estimate will be used in their assessment until 9 October.
Here's a link to the relevant section of the guide. 2.5.1: Estimates of income
As all CSA workers are Australain Public Servants, would the people who are looking after your case be in breach of the Australain Public Service Code of Conduct by not re-assessing the CS payable which in effect is not being fair and equitable to all parties concerned. Being a Public servant myself I am quite aware of what is required under the APS Code of Conduct.

An area of the CSA Guide that should be read is,

6.11.1: Compensation

It makes for some interesting reading.



She did her estimate of 12K about Sept last year.

However CSA advised she lodged 08/09 tax recently which was I think about 12k.

However can't remember a new letter from CSA- will ask for update today.

The ex got her new job in june (40-45K).

So CSA say last tax stands and will stand until 09/10.

I think I will have to do a COA as ex won't be giving new estimate.

Thanks everyone. Lots of avenues I can pursue.

Appreciate everyones help. Thanks!
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