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When CSA were getting my partners financial information they got details from his bank account and the last few pays that he had received were a lot higher than what they normally are due to starting a new job working 11hr days,7 days a week to get ahead

Hi

I am new on here and was just wondering if anyone could give me some information or advice.

My partner has just received his new COA and it says we have to pay his ex a lot more that we already do.

When CSA were getting my partners financial information they got details from his bank account and the last few pays that he had received were a lot higher than what they normally are (due to starting a new job and working 11 hour days,7 days a week to get a job finished) now that that job is finished his pay has dropped a lot but his COA has been set for 2 years.

When I spoke to CSA about his drop in pay they said it has to stay set like that because he is a sub contractor he should have saved for times when his pay is less. But as i said this was a new job so not a lot of time to put money away for the next TWO YEARS…

Anyway I was just wondering if anyone can tell me how CSA work in regards to income from sub contractor as he has a lot of expenses and not all of them are forseen so how can they predict his income?

Also can CSA get financial information from a business bank account or from a joint account and if they can can they garnish from either of these accounts?

Any help would be great..

Thanks
Minor edits made

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

If the business account is in the Payer's name only, they can take money from the account to pay a CS debt with a Section 72A Order

Money in a joint account cannot be taken with a Section 72A order

http://www.csa.gov.au/...x?content=5_2_9#whatfunds

Did the payee initiate the COA?

Which Reason did they make the changed assessment under?

What date was the COA decision made and what date did you receive the letter?
Yes his ex initiated the COA under reason 8. As he changed jobs

Cant remember the exact date and dont have the paper work on me but it came back a couple of weeks a go.

Why is that?
You have 28 days to lodge an object against the COA decision - probably 28 days from when you received the notice of decision.

The objection will likely fail but then you can appeal to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and then to Federal Magistrates Court.

You should read the Notice of Decision very carefully to see if the CSA have actually stated what the "Special Circumstances" of the case are - often they don't and rely on people accepting that they have to pay the unfair amount without objecting.

I am by no means an expert but I am currently going through a COA - up to the SSAT appeal and lodging official complaints against the SCO and Objections Officer due to their decision letters not stating what the Special Circumstances are and other things.

The CSA Guide states the following in regard to a Reason 8 Change of Assessment:
2.6.14: Reason 8 - a parents income, property, financial resources, or earning capacity.
Parents and non-parent carers can apply for a change of assessment in special circumstances if the child support assessment is unfair because of the income, property, financial resources or earning capacity of one or both parents of the child for whom child support is payable.

The first step in determining that Reason 8 is established is for the Delegate to be satisfied that there are special circumstances.
A leading case on the interpretation of the phrase special circumstances is the Family Court case of Gyselman and Gyselman (1992) FLC 92-279 at 79.065 in which was stated: Whilst it is not possible to define with precision the meaning of that term, as a generality it is intended to emphasise that the facts of the case must establish something which is special or out of the ordinary.
Likewise, in Phillippe and Phillippe (1978) FLC 90-433 the Family Court held that special circumstances are facts peculiar to the particular case which set it apart from other cases.

This topic has info from an SSAT decision against the CSA for not establishing Special Circumstances

View topic: SRL help, what happens now. Court? - flwg.com.au
I would suggest your partner lodge a change of assessment under reason 8 and use the same methodology they used to set the higher rate to argue for a lower rate.  While they may have set the rate for 2 years, a subsequent decision by the registrar can replace that decision.  Of course, go the objections route and also lodge a short letter with the ombudsman letting him know they are still up to their old tricks.
Thank you for your help.
There are also provisions for application to protect  increased earnings up to three years after separation. I have posted the link and copied some of the relative applicable section.
A parent can apply to have additional income that was earned after separation excluded from their adjusted taxable income for child support purposes in certain circumstances. A parent may apply to have additional income excluded, regardless of whether they pay or receive child support.

The exclusion of additional income post separation is limited to the first three years after the parents last separated before the start of the child support case.

What are the requirements for excluding additional income?

Parents of a child may apply to have additional income (earned, derived or received after separation) excluded from their adjusted taxable income for the calculation of their child support assessment.

The requirements for excluding this additional income are:

    * the parents must have lived together on a genuine domestic basis for at least six months (section 44(1)(a));
    * the last separation of the parents occurred before the application for administrative assessment was made (section 44(1)(b)(ii));
    * the application is made within three years after the last separation of the parents (section 44(1)(b)(i));
    * at the time of the application, the parents remain separated (section 44(1)©);
    * the income must have been earned, derived or received in accordance with a pattern of earnings that was established after separation with the other parent (section 44(1)(d)(i)); and
    * the income must be of a kind it is reasonable to expect would not have been earned, derived, or received by the parent in the ordinary course of events (section 44(1)(d)(ii)).

Additional income

Parents may earn additional income from a variety of sources, including for example, from overtime, a second job, a career change to a higher paying job, or from investment income. For a self employed person, additional income may be earned, derived or received through extending the opening hours of their business, increasing production or developing new markets or new products (to a greater extent than before separation). The parent must be able to show that the change that resulted in the additional income being earned happened after separation (section 44(1)(d)(i)).

The ordinary course of events

Not all additional income that is earned, derived or received after separation will qualify for exclusion from a parents adjusted taxable income. The new pattern of earnings must have been established after separation and would not have been reasonable to expect that income in the ordinary course of events (section 44(1)(d)(ii)).

Income that parents would have been reasonably expected to earn in the ordinary course of events can not be excluded from their adjusted taxable income. For example, it is within the ordinary course of events that parents will earn additional income through regular pay rises, or seasonal variations in income.

However, income that parents earn outside the ordinary course of events is able to be excluded from their adjusted taxable income. This could include income from overtime or second jobs taken on after separation, promotions or a shift to a higher paying job. However, moving from an unemployment benefit to employment is considered within the ordinary course of events. Any income to be excluded must have been earned in a pattern established after separation.

30% limit for reduction of adjusted taxable income

The exclusion of post separation income can not reduce a parents adjusted taxable income by more than 30% (section 44(3)(a)). If excluding all the additional income earned post separation would reduce the adjusted taxable income by more than 30%, CSA can only reduce the adjusted taxable income by 30%.

Example

F has an income of $30,000 at the date of separation from M. After separation Fs income increases to $60,000 as F takes on a second job. Fs child support liability is assessed on $60,000, as that was Fs income for the last relevant year of income. F can apply to have the additional income of $30,000 earned post separation excluded from their adjusted taxable income of $60,000, the extra $30,000 being additional income earned post separation. If Fs application is successful, Fs current income used in the assessment, $60,000, can only be reduced by a maximum of 30%, or $18,000. Therefore, Fs adjusted taxable income would be set at $42,000. F has $18,000 excluded from their income before the self-support component is deducted and Fs children receive child support based on an adjusted taxable income for F of $42,000.

Example

M has an income of $35,000 at the date of separation from F. After separation Ms income increases to $47,000 as M changes jobs. Ms child support liability is assessed on $47,000, as that was Ms income for the last relevant year of income. M can apply to have the additional income of $12,000 earned post separation excluded from their adjusted taxable income of $47,000.

If Ms application is successful a maximum of 30% of Ms current income could be excluded. However, 30% of $47,000 is $14,100 and a reduction of $14,100 would result in an adjusted taxable income of $32,900, a lower amount than the separation income. Therefore the adjusted taxable income would be set at $35,000, the separation income.

Three year limit on excluding additional income

Post separation income can not be excluded for more than three years from the date of separation (Section 44(3)(b)).  

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Thank you very much Secretary SPCA!!!!

This is the option we are going to try. I hope that we get somewhere with the objection.

But after speaking to CSA I am not sure that it will get us anywhere. They told me I could try but it should have been taken in to consideration when the COA decision was being made. This made me very angry because we did not know this was an option.

How can they say things like that! It is not like it is easy to find out and it is not like they are going to tell you about it. I have been looking for weeks at ways to help our situation. I was just lucky to find a forum with lots of great help on it.

I know everyone know this already but it just seems so unfair.. The objection form they have told me to fill out doesnt have much information about what to say, but after 4 calls to CSA within and hour, I think I have finally got enough information to send it away.

Has anyone really found that objections work??
Info said
Has anyone really found that objections work??

Generally objections don't work. However, objecting is an important step to potentially getting a fairer and more just decision. You have to object before you can move onto SSAT and then from SSAT to court on a matter of law. I believe that you have a matter of law as it appears that the CSA did not consider you position and the capacity for you to pay. Nor did the CSA appear to consider the very object of the legislation and that is that parents, note plural, provide the correct financial support.

I believe in Ryan,  the COA put the income of the liable parent at $92,000, objection reduced it to $62,000, eventually the income was reduced to $58,500 and also the other parent's income was increased from $25,000 to I think $42,000. The result being quite a dramatic change as the one of the major factors in the formula is the percentage of the combined CS income (note. this is the income after removal of various amounts, including the Self Support Amount).
Also you can get some assistance from the Ombudsman after the SSAT process, and if you succeed in the SSAT or court processes, then you can claim from C$A costs/losses incurred as a result of having to take further action through the CDDA Scheme.
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