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Taking a Stand and Appealing the COA

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My hubbie has decided to appeal the refusal of CSA to reduce his monthly payments. He is appealing Reason 7  on the grounds he is, according to the CSA guide permitted a 'self supporting' amount, which is not included in the assessment. Hubbie has also pointed out that he has not seen any documents relating to the payee which provide him with information on her earnings or if the child (17yrs) is even still at school.He has requested info on the assessment refusal to reduce, asking why he has been denied the right to be allowed a self supporting amount, considering he provided them with the last 15months of bank Business Partnership statements. If this is not provided he will pursue this with the SSAT, citing the CSA guide of having to be fair to both payee and payer, as basically he is not being listened to and requires some balance or 'Procedural Fairness" from CSA. He has also appealing Reason 8 as payee has gradually reduced her earnings by $5000 over the past 4 years, although CSA stated that there was no evidence of Reason 8, then promptly gave him figures from her tax assessments which verify the above! It is only fair that payers are allowed to have their change of circumstances considered by CSA  and then given appropriate reasons why the COA is rejected, not fairy stories!
How has the payee reduced her earnings over the past 4 years? What does she do?

Is he up to date with his tax returns?

Further developments on COA

The COA my husband initiated was rejected in December,therfore he has appealed the decision made, by asking for documentation regarding ex-wife's income as this was not presented to him during the COA process. Therefore, he does not know why she is reducing her income each year (Salary Sacrifice - Super, would be my guess). The decision was arrived at using her recent tax assessments (supposedly as this info. was not forwarded to him either). He has lodged an appeal and has requested documentation of ex partner's recent income to be forwarded to him along with the school enrolment proof that 17yr old child is still at school. Well, to our amazement he received a letter from CSA stating that the child could be living independently (from the day before CSA letter!) and that this is considered a terminating event!! What blatant fraud and sneakiness by CSA and ex-partner he has exposed by asking for documentation. As hubbie hasn't seen any of the kids in years he has to rely on the HONESTY of the CSA to determine what is fair and reasonable to all (Procedural Fairness?). If he does not receive any of the documents and the decision is made that he has to continue paying the high amount of child support he will be pursuing this much further. One has to ask, How long has this been going on for? and How many other people does this happen too?At the present moment hubbie is unemployed but has not done any tax assessment for a number of years. He has provided proof of his income to CSA by the way of 24 months of bank statements to enable them to be able to make a fair decision. He was not going to appeal, but felt that because he is presently unemployed (not on Centrelink) he is at least allowed the self-supporting amount to be factored into the equation. At the present moment CSA are assessing him on his 2007 tax assessment, not his very real, proven income, supplied to them.

 Lesson 1: Always ask for all documentation to be provided by CSA to enable you to be able to see how they came to the verdict on the Change of Assessment.

 Lesson 2: Always question their integrity and appeal if necessary, follow everything through with CSA as they will always take the simple solution as it obviously cost less to make these to the community.

 I guess if enough people question the structure of the COA processes then there eventually will be fairer outcomes for all.
What does hubby's ex do work wise?

When tax returns are processed C$A is advised by ATO and C$A has to inform the other parent.

C$A are there to collect from the payer not help the payer so I am surprised they offered any information on the 17yo. You should pursue this as you may be able to get money back either from the ex or from C$A through the Compensation for Defective Administration scheme.

Hubby should get his tax returns up to date. Why has he not done this?

Yes always deal with C$A in writing via snail mail.

Yes always follow through with everything as they often ignore their clients due to being a phone first organisation.

Yes making C$A accountable will improve them.

Fraudulent activity by payee is supported by CSA

Hubbie just found out from the school his sons attended, that both children left school back in 2007. That means they have been in the workforce for possibly the past three years, one of the children has had an ABN since 2008. Hubbie has not done tax as this would be a grab at his super pay-out by CSA, which payee is not entitled to and yesterday we attended the Family Court to order documents dating back to 1997 which state this. If he puts his tax in CSA will make a claim on this money (as income) until we can prove otherwise, and we would have to fight to get any money back or like the last lot….. 'gifted' to her. Hubbie also has a capital gains event, which CSA would view as income and would trigger another grab for more monies.He states  'he has paid enough' (over $100,000 in the past 10 years!), also he was left with practically nil from divorce settlement as she got 85% of house payout which left him a few thousand dollars and gave her enough assets to buy the new house she lives in ($180,000). Payee is definitely committing fraud, deliberately not telling CSA about the children. Last year hubbie paid nearly $500/month and was never in arrears. We submitted a COA for a reduction due to a death in our immediate family (one of my children) and they blatantly refused us this, meanwhile never investigating the payee. We are  'so over it' and have decided we will stop sending anything to the CSA and I will document a large report which I am going to forward to the Commonwealth Ombudsmen to ask to investigate and maybe someone will be held accountable for the attitudes towards Payers. Ex wife (payee) works as a part time shop assistant (15hrs/fortnight) and lives with her new Hubbie on a Disability pension, she remarried in 2002.
Forget about C$A COA, Objections and SSAT. As you dealing with issues that are more than 18 months old you can actually take all of this directly to a court and get it sorted out. Read s111 of the Child Support (Assessment) Act and you see what and how it can be achieved. You will need to work out your taxable incomes etc… for your evidence but I think this might be the best way to deal with your situation.
Thanks for the advice, Fairgo. I will look into the guide and S111. Hubbie is going to get the tax assessment completed when we get the Family law court documents (copies of final orders of his divorce settlement and the weekly access to his children he should be getting which has never happened!). He is also waiting on notification from CSA about his COA he put in and his appeal to their refusal to lower his child support while he is unemployed. What CSA put in to answer this appeal, he can pursue further through the Family Court as I am quite sure it will be a littany of lies and half truths which I have been documenting and filing all CSA answers. CSA is being blatantly obstinate at not asking the Payee for more information. If the CS was a Centrelink payment, this would have been investigated and, as this fraudulent claiming of CSA has happened over several years, payee would be facing very serious charges. Recently, I compiled all of his CSA Assessments over the past 12yrs into an Excel spreadsheet. Some of these were changed within days of the other being sent out for different reasons. I also found that CSA calculations are incorrect with my calculations, given that I have all the Assessments. If CSA do terminate hubbie's CSA, is it possible to ask for a complete audit of all the child support payments over the past 12 yrs?
Besides asking CSA to do this (me thinks that they will not be cooperative anyway), go to the C'wealth Ombudsman but make sure you have documentation that you have tried to sort things out with the CSA.
I ask C$A for a statement of transactions at the end of every financial year so they should be able to go back a number of years for you. When you go to court the C$A and the ex will both be respondents and you will probably find that C$A will opt out from the case. You need to work out your claim from 2007 when the children left school to work. Under s111 if anything in the past 18 months relates to the situation beyond 18 months, then you can apply to have the past 18 months included in your application.

Remember you can always claim expenses/losses incurred due to defective administration from C$A so keep records of everything.

Some success at Last with COA

It appears that Hubbie have had some success with a reduction of his Child Support from $400/mth to just approx. $40/mth. He is still awaiting confirmation of this but next months payment has been adjusted on the CSA online to the lesser amount. He has contacted the school where his children attended and asked for the date they left school. The refused him this, so now he is getting lawyers to pursue this and obtain the dates when the last four children left school, as it appears they have all left in Year 10. All the children have been working at various full time jobs and we have written to CSA and told them of this, but hubbie has still had to pay. As far as I can see, when children are earning adult wages, according to the CSA Guide, the child support the payer pays should be reduced. For a large number of Payers, this does not happen and CSA do not fully investigate their claims, as this collection of less monies disadvantages the Agency. Thanks again to all on this website, for their advice. This is the second time we have had an appeal decided in hubbie's favour, as I have read a lot information posted on this site and adjusted our change of assessment appeal accordingly. My advice to others is to pursue CSA to the fullest and investigate their claims and that of the Payee, asking for evidence and documentation at all times. If this is not forthcoming, pursue your rights for "Fair and Just" and honest decisions.
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