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Tax debt and CSA payment

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Please shed some lights on this one...

Sorry for the long essay but I'm confused about this one. I'll keep it as short as possible.

The CSA send a payment estimator to the Ex for 2008 and as I didn't lodge my income, they added 10% to my 2007 group certificate and used that for the year.

Always payed and for some reason, I've never heard or seen anything from CSA? I only pay because the Ex told me how much they estimated I should pay. I never received any papers from the CSA. I think I need to chase them.

Anyways, I did my 08 and 09 Tax and for 2008, due to a single business adventure, I'm 24K over what CSA estimated. 2009 is not as I didn't do any work on the side.

As most of you know, divorce is not cheap. It turns out I owe the ATO over 7K and now I'm negotiating paying the ATO monthly as I don't have any cash. I"m also not getting any refunds for 2009.

My question is, does this mean CSA will now come back to me and say I earned substantially more than what they estimated? I mean, I have to pay the ATO AND more to the Ex? (The money I earned as a sole trader, but at the time, all of it went to a joint account, not that it matters with the ATO).

I appreciate any comments.
If you've heard nothing from the CSA either you don't have a case registered with them or the paper work is going elsewhere. I have personally heard of a recipient of CS purposefully providing the wrong address when they applied for CS to the CSA, this so they can find out information and also as an act of vengeance to try to get the paying parent into as much bother as possible. This wouldn't appear to be the case though, but perhaps it's something that you could think about.
The CSA Guide - 2.1.6: Notice of the decision (extract) said
Accepting an application

CSA must immediately notify the applicant and the other parent or parents when it accepts an application for a child support assessment (section 34). The notification must be in writing and must include:

- the right to object to CSAs decision to accept the application for a child support assessment, and to apply to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal for a review of the objection decision; and

- the parents right to apply to a court for a declaration under section 107 if they believe they are not a parent of the child. See Chapter 4.3.2: Applications and orders about decisions under the Assessment Act.
If there is no case, then the CSA have no right to intervene unless a parent applies and then the CSA's involvement would be from the date that the case was notified to them (although I thought  there was a period that they could backdate to, perhaps I'm just confusing myself). So the CSA would not be able to do anything about the 2008 income as you have now lodged the 2009 tax return.

You may wish to use the calculators on this site (available from the Home page), they are believed to be as accurate as the CSA's estimator and the advanced one can do the calculations that the CSA's estimator cannot. I personally advise using the advanced calculator (I even believe that some people in the CSA use it).

I'd also advise not using the CSA if you feel confident that between yourselves you can  work out (and perhaps have worked out) what should be paid. Perhaps you should contact the CSA though and try to ascertain if there is a case registered. If you believe that what the other parent has provided as estimates are not fair, then you could make an application for yourself. However be warned the CSA appear to have an attitude towards people running their own businesses, in that they most likely hide income.

The CSA then appear to have some magical spells that can make a great deal out of the proverbial thin air, well at least if an increase in the amount transferred or collected is the result. Funnily enough the magic doesn't appear to work if the result is a reduction of the amount transferred or collected. Sheesh if only I had that spell, I believe I could fix most of the woes of the world.
Thanks MikeT.  I don't know how it works.

My guess is similar to yours that the papers must've gone else where.

The Ex told me they sent her the assessment paper saying I should pay this much … and I've been paying her directly into her a account for the last year.

I think I'll give thema call tomorrow.

Should I mention the tax debt thingy?  I'm so confused with all this legal jungle.
I wouldn't bother informing the CSA about the higher income, they would likely detect and act upon the tax returns that you have lodged.

Expect and prepare for them to take the higher income into consideration.

You should check with them why you haven't been receiving the paperwork that you should have been receiving if your case was registered with them.
Cheers. That's a start anyway. I can't believe I'll have to pay extra as well as the ATO. Joint accounts? Never again…
If your ex is agreeable you can have the extra taxable income excluded from C$A assessment by sending a signed agreement to CSA. You could also include such an agreement as part of your settlement if this has not occurred.

As Mike says if there is no C$A case against you then you don't have to pay anything. However once the ex does apply for CSA to formally assess and collect from you, they can only collect arrears for 3 months prior to the date the ex made their claim.

I'm guessing the ex cleaned out the joint account?
Yep. The house was sold at a loss and all the money was taken in the home loan. Never again.

Here's the CSA update if anyone is interested, I contacted them and although they had a case, they didn't even have my address (they didn't even sweat about that).

The thing is, they're now aware of my taxable income for last year and now my CSA payment has doubled even though my son spends 3 nights a week with me. When I explained my financial position I was told 'None of our concern'. I told them the ex is earning 30K more than I do. 'We'll take that into account next year'. Nazis… That's all I can say.

I guess they didn't have my details as I pay her directly without their involvement. I spoke with her and she agreed to keep the payment to a minimum to get through this rough period. Offcourse, she can always change her mind and they will chase me with a knife. Amazing. She holds all the cards.

The thing is, when I called the ATO, they were friendly, calm and supportive to get the money payed even by instalment. The CSA however, felt like talking to a brick wall with no sympathy what so ever.

So, yes, the CSA doesn't care what so ever if you owe the ATO money or not. Even if you're screwed.
They don't need your address - they will find you if you lodge a tax return or if the ex knows where you live.

You could lodge a change of assessment based on her current earnings as long as you have nothing to hide from them.

With three nights a week care you are doing well. If the ex really wanted get significantly more money of you she would only need to get the care down to below 128 nights per year.
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