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Advice on School Fees and additional costs of extra curricular activies and all the compulsory levies.

Hi,

I am new to this site and would like some advice on the matter of Private School Fees.  I have 2 children aged 12 and below attending Private School.  It was the intention of my Ex and I for them to attend Private School.  Every year I have been raising an Objection with CSA asking for my Ex and I to share the school fees but CSA only taken into account the tution fee component of the School Fees and not the compulsory levies.  Thus leaving me to pay the Levies.  The reason given by them was that Government schools also have levies and every parent/carer has to foot that bill.  I was also told that the old formula allowed for an exemption before the child support was calculated and hence those expenses were covered there.  The other day I called CSA to find out if the way they calculated School Fees had changed with the introdcution of the new formula from 1 July 2008.  I was told that nothing had changed.  I think it is totally unfair, as now both the parents hanve the same self-support amount and I am left to care for my children plus foot the additional costs of extra curricular activies and all the compulsory levies.  I would like someone to give me some advise on this, i.e. is it true that compulsory levies have already been calculated in the formula??  Thanks
I did not think that school levies had been dealt with in the formula other than public school contributions as a component in the overall new (fairer) actual costs of children table. Depending on the amount of time you have the children you will receive full FTB part A or certainly a significant part of it based on a sliding scale. Private school fees is always a difficult one.

I have seen cases where school fee payments are agreed and when it comes to other contributed costs (And there are always a number of these) the other parent refuses to pay any contribution. The good news must be that you have at least half the fees paid. They are by far the majority of the costs and are in the order of thousands of dollars a quarter. The rest is fairly minimal I would suggest. There is no easy way to recover these. Change of assessment may be an option but the rules have changed significantly and will be further changed in the future.

You could review this link at the Guide but it clearly refers to "School fees" and not the compulsory levies. :|

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Uhhm this is a hard one, but my initial guess is that if they are compulsory fees, then yes they would have been included in deriving the cost of children and as such the CS would cover this amount.

Taking another tack education is one of the humanitarian rights and as such I would have thought that the costs of education would have been high on the list of items considered under support, so that is yet another reason why I feel that it is likely that such costs are considered in the cost of children.

I've had a quick scan through the basis of the new legislation, the report entitled "In the Best Interests of Children", it is not clear, but considering the depth of some of the thought, I would guess, indicates that they would likely have looked at this aspect. However what this report does include, is a list of all the reference material used. These may perhaps provide a better perspective, but I don't think that there will be a definitive answer in them. However perhaps it's omission could be considered as it not being included.

My personal view on this, is that they were very likely included in the determination of the cost of children and that as such, if a parent is paying the designated amount of child support then they are very likely paying their share.

Here's the references if you wish to follow this up. :-

In the Best Interest of the Children said
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As a payer, I have just had the compulsory levies accepted as a prescribed non-agency payment.  I suspect it may have been more in the way the invoice was presented than anything else.  The only part that wasn't accepted was the buidling levy - CSA are waiting to see if it was both parents intention.  

As a side bar commnet, am also waiting to see if this flushes out a change of assessment application.

I could suggest that you ask the school to present it all on one line of the invoice and see what happens.
Given how expensive shoes, uniforms and other levies are…. private school education would encapsulate the lot!
 :offtopic:
On another topic, if someone's ex has offered to send the children to a private school in lieu of child support…does that show 'intention'?

This is a question for a friend of mine who is constantly dudded by her ex. He waits 3 months in to pay CS and stresses her out by making all her bills rack up and go overdue by the time he pays.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
It is all the little "bits and pieces" issues that demonstrate why the CSA's rigid approaches are plain wrong.  If we, as a Nation, are going to have a CSA that works and minimises constant niggling we need individual case management.  Not the current rigid approach which encourages angst.
I'm dead scared this guy is going to dangle the carrot of private schooling and then yank the rug out from under them.

He is in a family business and can hide his income.

She's also the sort of mum who puts everything into her kids and spends little on herself.

Good on you gooner, there are a lot of payers on here who do the right thing because it's the right thing.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
gooner, payers playing games with CSA is entirely rational behaviour.  If the rules were consistent and logically applied there would probably be a different story.     
Artemis said
I'm dead scared this guy is going to dangle the carrot of private schooling and then yank the rug out from under them.

He is in a family business and can hide his income.

She's also the sort of mum who puts everything into her kids and spends little on herself.

Good on you gooner, there are a lot of payers on here who do the right thing because it's the right thing.
  To play games with schooling is low, and i know what its like to scrimp and save for ones kids, I would walk naked down the street if i had to to cloth my little one

The internet can be so misleading when you type, I was not knocking the OP in any way at all

hope i didnt offend ………and in case i did i have deleted what i wrote

;-)

Last edit: by gooner


They must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority

Private School Fees

Back on to the topic of Compulsory levies not being included in as School Fees, I did notice on the CSA Website, that under Prescribed Non-Agency Payment - CSA credit certain types of payments towards a child support liability - i.e. school or preschool fees and levies (but not compulsory camps, excursions, additional tuition or baording costs) and amounts for uniforms and books prescribed by a school or preschool. When I raised this with CSA, they told me that it was different in the case of a Private Collect.

In the case of my children's school fees - only 73% of the school fees are taken into consideration for one child and the other one only 44% of the total school fees - thus leaving me to foot the costs of the balance 27% and 55% + share 50% of the amount taken in to CSA's calculation.  Uniforms, Books, Shoes and Extra curriculare activities are my responsibility.  I think with the new calculations and if you are working full time, the carer is totally disadvantaged with the high costs of living etc.,
concernedmum said
Back on to the topic of Compulsory levies not being included in as School Fees, I did notice on the CSA Website, that under Prescribed Non-Agency Payment - CSA credit certain types of payments towards a child support liability - i.e. school or preschool fees and levies (but not compulsory camps, excursions, additional tuition or baording costs) and amounts for uniforms and books prescribed by a school or preschool. When I raised this with CSA, they told me that it was different in the case of a Private Collect.

Uhhm, I don't think that I've seen anything that says assessments are any different for private collect, only the method and some issues specific to the collection/arrears. Perhaps you should ask them to clarify this. I would be most interested for a fuller explanation of exactly what they are saying.

concernedmum said
In the case of my children's school fees - only 73% of the school fees are taken into consideration for one child and the other one only 44% of the total school fees - thus leaving me to foot the costs of the balance27% and 55%+share 50% of the amount taken in to CSA's calculation. Uniforms, Books, Shoes and Extra curriculare activities are my responsibility. I think with the new calculations and if you are working full time, the carer is totally disadvantaged with the high costs of living etc.,

I don't see how you are totally disadvantaged, essentials like books, shoes, uniforms etc, are covered by the cost of the children and therefore the formula.

It wouldn't surprise me, if in the underlying research, that extra curricular activities also come into play in establishing the cost of children. I say this as otherwise there would be a single cost for all children, whilst the formula considers the income of the parents and the cost of the children increases, even be it at a reducing rate, for greater incomes.

Also there may well be the factor of additional FTB, if the level of care of the other parent is less than 35% and is 14% or greater, then the new legislation places all of the FTB into the hands of the carer (to use your terminology).

Say that extra-curricular activities had to be paid for, what would you suggest be used to ensure that they were not used purely for vengeance to cripple the other parent financially, or would you agree to such a feature being available?
Artemis - it should fall under the COA for 5% difference in cost of raising a child - but under this provision then the ex would have to justify that both parents agree to the private school…etc, etc.

:offtopic: I have to ask - you stated - "He is in a family business and can hide his income." - but is he actually doing this?  

Please don't be one of those who fall into the trap of quoting (like CSA have done) that those in business are ALL trying to minimise CS…
Hi Nxus, I don't know for sure that my friends ex does this. It's an educated guess though. I saw their standard of living before separation and now I see his standard of living and hers. For the income he claims to be on, I can't see how he could afford overseas trips….

Now, while this chap may be doing the wrong thing, I would never generalise and say that all people in their own business minimise their CS liability.

Having said that, I have seen too much to be naive when it comes to human behaviour. While the majority of people try to do what they think is the right thing, there will always be a percentage who are very self-oriented.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Agreed….  But I guess it falls into that case of "eye off the beholder" or "everyone story is different".

But I still think it by fair more unfair to "weild a big stick" to everyone who runs their own business hoping to whack out the "wrong doers" while there are by far more payees who live in new relationships "provided with benefit" that seem to get away scott-free.

Again as I stated - your friend situation is different as everyones is.
I do understand where you are coming from though, but then again i dont. I run my own business - and i really struggle and in part its due to my ex's intervention with clients by email, phone calls etc. etc.. but every year i get the standard "trawling" by CSA previously under a client initiated COA now under a "compliance" RI COA……….

So its best for me to go back and get a "normal" job - under a normal salary - slide into the "normal" mould…. but hang on i can't - because that would be voluntarily leaving employment and the dreaded CTE would be there to chew me up n spit me out.

Go figure!!!
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