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Taxable Income, Centrelink payments - ripping me off.

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Hi all,

So glad I found this site. Hopefully I can get some help here before I tackle child support for a COA.
A little history:-
For 9yrs I struggled to get any sort of child support payment from his father and ended up back in the workforce, paying exuberant child care fees with no help from the father. I would recieve the annual tax cheque that CSA took from the father, and as great as that was at the time it didn't help throughout the year. My work took me to being on call 24/7 I was forced to have my son go live with his father. He is 11yrs old now and has been living with his father since the beginning of 2009.  I am now the 'payer' in a pretty well paid FIFO job. I see my son every third weekend. The father claims he is on 10k a year taxable income. This is bullshit. How can anyone live on that?
He has a partner, another child between them and a step child for whom her father is paying child support or atleast should be. I know his partner works. As does he as a caretaker of a golf course. IF rent is free and part of the caretaking position shouldn't this be taken into consideration also as income?

My questions are:

What is the minimum one can get from Centrelink? Shouldn't he be on some sort of benefits if this is the case? If he chooses not to, then one should ask him how he survives on such little money.

If CSA does not take into consideration what the 'partner' earns, then why is it ok to live off them?

Centrelink bonus's..Not having to be on centrelink for nearly 3yrs now I'm not in the loop as to what you're entitled too and not as a low income earner…. I remember I use to get $600 for putting in a tax return. Do these still occur? Are there any other things he could claim for?

Can these specific payments be taken off the annual Child Support Assesment?

My sons cost of living does not increase just because I earn more. Why does my assesment have to go up just because my wage does?

Can I put money in a trust fund instead?

If I give his school $500 for excursions/uniforms etc throughout the year, will this be taken off my annual amount to pay?

If I take out private health insurance for my son, can this also be taken off the annual amount?

Are there any other payments/costs I could pay for direct so the money isn't going to the father for smokes/alcohol?

I would also like to tell the father that if our son comes to me without adequate clothing or shoes then I'll be forced to buy new ones and send in the reciepts to CSA. Can I do this?

I need to put in for a COA. I don't want to be paying them 1k a month. That is just a ridiculous amount to pay and I know my son does not cost that much to raise.

What about the rent I have to pay? Do my living costs get taken into consideration?

I thank you all for reading and hope you can help.

Regards,
Kylie
Kylie said
The father claims he is on 10k a year taxable income. This is bullshit. How can anyone live on that?
There are many people who have a far lower taxable income and there are many reasons. If you believe that the other parent has income that is not being hidden then you could opt for a reason 8 change of assessment. However, as many posts within the forum section of this portal show, a liable parent very frequently has decisions that are biased toward the CSA collecting or transferring greater amounts. In brief the likelihood is that you'd suffer financially. I'd suggest considering such an option carefully.

Kylie said
IF rent is free and part of the caretaking position shouldn't this be taken into consideration also as income?
I've not heard of this being the case and suspect that it would not be considered even if the status (liable/recipient) were the other way round. It's not alienation, also it's likely a requirement of the position and also likely entails "out of hours" responsibilities. Also I've not heard of the CSA taken into consideration rent assistance that is provided for many recipients; perhaps this could be another reason that the CSA would not push consideration of rental assistance.

Kylie said
What is the minimum one can get from Centrelink? Shouldn't he be on some sort of benefits if this is the case?
You can claim nothing from Centrelink. As the other partner is working low income support is unlikely to be in place. The other parent may be entitled to FTB payments, again this would be adjusted according to what the other parent's partner is earning.

Kylie said
I remember I use to get $600 for putting in a tax return. Do these still occur? Are there any other things he could claim for? Can these specific payments be taken off the annual Child Support Assesment?
I believe, although I may be wrong as I'm not very up on Centrelink benefits, that the $600, something like $760 now I think, is withheld from FTB payments, for those being paid fortnightly, until end of year. This to cover variations between claimed and actual income. They are not considered as income as the payments are for the child(ren).

Kylie said
My sons cost of living does not increase just because I earn more. Why does my assesment have to go up just because my wage does?
The formula considers lifestyle and purportedly levelling it across the parents. In reality, again as many posts indicate, CS is really a tax in all but name and hence why it's very unfair to the person paying the extra tax.

I'm pushed for time at the momemt. So I'll likely answer your other questions at a later time, unless they are otherwise answered.



Kylie said
Can I put money in a trust fund instead?
I'm pretty sure not, that is unless you either got a court order saying so or if you put together a binding agreement which would require the cooperation of the other parent.

Kylie said
If I give his school $500 for excursions/uniforms etc throughout the year, will this be taken off my annual amount to pay?
Possibly, have a read of The CSA Guide - 5.3.1: Non-agency payments

Kylie said
If I take out private health insurance for my son, can this also be taken off the annual amount?
Possibly, follow the previous link.

Kylie said
Are there any other payments/costs I could pay for direct so the money isn't going to the father for smokes/alcohol?
Again, follow the link above.

Kylie said
I would also like to tell the father that if our son comes to me without adequate clothing or shoes then I'll be forced to buy new ones and send in the reciepts to CSA. Can I do this?
Probably no, again, follow the link.

Kylie said
I need to put in for a COA. I don't want to be paying them 1k a month. That is just a ridiculous amount to pay and I know my son does not cost that much to raise.
You are very unlikely to get much from a COA. There are also quite a few posts that detail how the cost of the child is greatly exaggerated because as previously mentioned in reality CS is a tax in all but name. From my own experience I believe that it is something like 10 times greater than it should be. A relatively recent report that compared disposable incomes of childless families and families with children the average was about 50k spent on a child throughout the childhood, whilst the cost of children tables are based upon findings that put this figure at over $500k at time when the average wage was less than $50k.

Kylie said
What about the rent I have to pay? Do my living costs get taken into consideration?
The formula starts off using a parent's taxable income, from this an amount known as the Self Support Amount(SSA) is deducted. This amount is indexed by being based upon what I term AMTAWE which is an annualised version of MTAWE (Male Total Average Weekly Earnings). SSA is 1/3 of SSA. For assessments that start in 2011 the amount is $20594. This amount was, $19618 for 2010, $18808 for 2009, $18252 for 2008, and $17358 for 2007. Even though the formula was introduced in July 2008 many still had assessments starting in 2007. This amount is a lot fairer then the previous system which had a different amount for liable parents and recipients the latter being something like 42k.
Thanks Mike for replying. CSA must troll this site…ironic or not, they called today to get my 'ability to pay' details as they feel that the 10k a year the father is claiming to earn is false YAY.. and thats not coming from me!

either that or its a cunning way to get info from me.

I don't mind paying CSA and am paying more then enough at the moment ( so I don't end up with a bill at the end of financial year) but it just sucks its not controlled enough so that the money is spent onthe child.

That I feel is what we need to see happen then most parents would feel alot better in paying towards the kids.

Anyways, will see what happens in 3 months time when they make a decision hey?

I hate this!
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