Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Wrong income

Add Topic
If CSA has the wrong income for the payee, after the payee declared it incorrectly and if the payee also doesn't lodge tax returns and CSA guestimates income based on an incorrect income for previous years, is a CoA the only option?
I am almost certain that CSA won't take into account the payees capacity to earn through a CoA. Now the payee gave them an estimate for 6month of x amount (5times lower then last tax return) and the payee has been unemployed for 4month. 2 month are in question. CSA accepted x amount for the whole period. We are awaiting CoAs results. I have no hope to be honest.
Mid year CSA will guestimate or base her income on the current tax return (if she lodges, I doubt it), which may be a little bit more then x amount plus the annual increase of 3 or 4 percent, right? Now, since she only worked for 6 month, her income should be at least twice x ammount. Knowing CSA, they will ignore that also. In fact we also believe that she is doing cash work for her boyfriends buisness.
Does she get CL benefits? Sounds like she is defrauding the system that tax-payers support. CL actually spend money on investigating fraud and some people get put under surveillance. You can report C$A or CL fraud online. Esp if she is working for cash for a business you can name.

Do you have any proof you can send C$A of the correct income for this person? You can ask C$A to contact the persons employer directly for the correct earnings also.

MikeT has more knowledge than me on these things.
No proof Unfortunatly and no name of employer or buisness. Apperantly she doesn't get centerlink but who knows… How can I find out? It simply sounds dodgy to us, that she reduces her income (if calculated on a yearly wage) by 2/3 and going without work for x amount of time. She worked full time for years and apperantly made a few suspicious comments to my husband. As soon as she quit her job she went CSA collect on a wrong care level. We do also believe that she and her boyfriend just bought a house.

Irregardless, I am worried that they just go by x ammount for next tax year, rather then 2 times x ammount.
The age of the child/ren also makes a difference to CS. When the child turns 13, the amount of CS increases.

One way you could level the playing field is to get more care or make sure C$A have the correct level of care recorded. It is likely that the OP wont agree to an increase in care, as this decreases the amount of CS they get.

Are there court orders regarding care?
No, but we started mediation and are going to court. The kids live far away and she already reduced care (haven't seen them for months) to increase CS, in my opinion. We pay 100% now. She made sure CSA had 0% of care stated which we never noticed, since we were private collect and had them 15%, but never recieved estimates, since they didn't have the right adress. So we are on this one. I am just wondering what to do if the CoA fails. We are already looking for a new place to stay, since we can't afford the one we are in paying double CS.

Anyway, how does CSA find out where she is working? Through the tax department? She just started this new job.
She would have told them where she is working in order to lodge an estimate. You can still object to her estimate, and ask C$A to contact her employer directly. You can advise them she has started a new job and is not being honest about her income. You can mention she just bought a new house and any other factors that indicate she has access to more money than she is letting on.

What were the suspicious comments that were made to your hubby by his ex?
Another question (cause I know it's going to happen)… She calls CSA telling them her income is let's say 10k per year. They guestimate 12k for the next year and so on… 3 years later she is doing her tax and it was in fact 55k for the first year, 60k for the second year and so on. Now CSA apperantly can't backdate right? Why not? Where does it say they can't? How can you get your overpayments back?

If my husband would ring CSA telling them that his income is 35k while in fact it is 70k, they backdate! How does this make sense? Am I missing something?
The CSA Guide - 2.9.5: Amending assessments said
When can CSA amend an assessment?

CSA can amend an assessment at any time to give effect to the provisions of the Act (section 75). An assessment can be amended despite the fact that:

    the child support has been paid;
    the child support period has ended; or
    there are SSAT, AAT or court proceedings pending in relation to the assessment.

The reasons why an assessment may be amended include (but are not limited to):

    correcting any error or mistake (whether or not made by CSA);
    correcting the effect of any false or misleading statement made to CSA;
    giving effect to a terminating event;
    giving effect to a care determination or interim care determination;
    giving effect to a change in a parents or non-parent carer's percentage of care;
    giving effect to an event or change of circumstances that affects the annual rate of child support;
    giving effect to CSA's acceptance of a child support agreement;
    giving effect to a decision of the SSAT; and
    giving effect to a decision or order of a court which has jurisdiction under the Act.

CSA will amend an assessment under section 75 where the amendment is necessary to give effect to a provision of the Act, either expressly or impliedly.

Example

If there is a decision to allow an objection, CSA will amend the assessment to give effect to the decision.

CSA cannot amend an assessment where there is no express or implied requirement to amend an assessment. Also, CSA cannot make an amendment that contravenes a specific provision of the Act.

Where a customer is dissatisfied with a CSA decision, they should use the administrative processes that are part of the child support legislation namely the objection process and review by the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. These processes allow the information available and the decisions made to be considered in a way that is procedurally fair to both customers. Generally, CSA will use section 75 to correct errors only if:

    it is an obvious error of fact;
    all affected customers agree to the correct facts;
    the error can be fixed simply and easily.

If CSA caused the error or substantially contributed to it, CSA is more likely to use section 75 to correct the assessment rather than the objection process. Affected parents have the right to object to a decision under section 75 to correct an error.


And the Legislation:


The Child Support Assessment 1989 - Section 75 said
75  Amendment of assessments
   (1)   The Registrar may, at any time, amend any administrative assessment by making such alterations and additions as the Registrar considers necessary to give effect to this Act or the Registration and Collection Act.
   (2)   However, if the amendment relates to a responsible persons percentage of care for a child, the Registrar must not amend an administrative assessment unless:
   (a)   the amendment relating to the responsible persons percentage of care for the child would cause the persons cost percentage for the child to change; or
   (d)   the child is a relevant dependent child and the Registrar has become aware that the child was not taken into account for the purpose of making the assessment.
   (3)   Subsection (1) has effect despite the fact that:
   (a)   child support has been paid under the administrative assessment; or
   (b)   the child support period, or the part of the child support period, to which the administrative assessment relates has ended; or
   ©   proceedings are pending in a court having jurisdiction under this Act or the Registration and Collection Act, or in the SSAT, against or in relation to the administrative assessment.
   (4)   Without limiting subsection (1), the Registrar may amend any administrative assessment for the purpose of:
   (a)   correcting any error or mistake (whether or not made by the Registrar); or
   (b)   correcting the effect of any false or misleading statement made to the Registrar; or
   ©   giving effect to the happening of a child support terminating event in relation to a child, the liable parent, the carer entitled to child support, or all 3; or
   (d)   giving effect to the happening of an event or change of circumstances that, under this Act or the Registration and Collection Act, affects the annual rate at which child support is or was payable; or
   (e)   giving effect to the acceptance of a child support agreement by the Registrar; or
   (f)   giving effect to a decision or order of a court having jurisdiction under this Act or the Registration and Collection Act, or of the SSAT.
   (5)   Where a provision of this Act or the Registration and Collection Act expressly authorises the Registrar to amend an administrative assessment, that provision does not by implication limit the power of the Registrar (whether under this section or otherwise) to amend the assessment.
   (6)   Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Act or the Registration and Collection Act, every amended administrative assessment is to be taken to be an administrative assessment for all the purposes of this Act and the Registration and Collection Act.

They use this to go back and grab more from liable parents. As such, a liable parent can expect that the CSA undertake their duty to treat parents fairly and thus use this to correct errors even if they are in favour of the liable parent. However, do not bet on an outcome as they will very likely ignore the very object of the legislation that parents meet their proper financial responsibility and instead invent hardship. They will also try to again ignore the object of the act and try to con a liable parent into gifting any overpayment. (note the order may be the other way around).
sm10 said
Another question (cause I know it's going to happen)… She calls CSA telling them her income is let's say 10k per year. They guestimate 12k for the next year and so on… 3 years later she is doing her tax and it was in fact 55k for the first year, 60k for the second year and so on. Now CSA apperantly can't backdate right? Why not? Where does it say they can't? How can you get your overpayments back? If my husband would ring CSA telling them that his income is 35k while in fact it is 70k, they backdate! How does this make sense? Am I missing something?

If I remember correctly, it has been a while since I worked there, they can indeed do that when they find out the correct income.  They will re-access as soon as they confirm it - and they do have links to databases such as the ATO to do that.  But guess what, if it turns out she owes you money they will not refund it to you until they have collected it all - I cant recall if that's the legislation or CSA policy.  Of course you can refuse to pay her until the money she owes is paid off but if you are on auto-withholding from your salary that may not be an option.

Oldboy, can't CSA autodeduct 30 percent less until it's paid off? Just thinking.
sm10 said
Oldboy, can't CSA autodeduct 30 percent less until it's paid off? Just thinking.

I can't remember if this is a legislative thing or CSA policy but the issue is the payee is reliant on the income to look after the child and it is considered undue hardship (on the child) to actually reduce what they are paid.  So they try and get all the money by some kind of arrangement rather than reduce what they get.  Welcome to the minefield of trying to be fair to the innocent here - the child.

Thanks
Bill

And I bet they don't look at individual cases. It's called child support, but it's actually more then the children cost (what we pay), as it's nearly as much as someOne else's wage (mine for example). The other parent also owns property we believe. Its really supporting her and not the children and that should be her spouses obligation. If 30 percent get deducted, she still gets enough to feed the children, pay for their activitys and buy them clothes. If children cost as much, no one could afford them. I am struggeling 40hours of work and 20hours of uni, my husband earns a decent wage but has a decent debt as well (uni) and she gets to choose to work part time, not all or doesn't indicate her actual income. That's just great.
sm10 said
And I bet they don't look at individual cases. It's called child support, but it's actually more then the children cost (what we pay), as it's nearly as much as someOne else's wage (mine for example). The other parent also owns property we believe. Its really supporting her and not the children and that should be her spouses obligation. If 30 percent get deducted, she still gets enough to feed the children, pay for their activitys and buy them clothes. If children cost as much, no one could afford them. I am struggeling 40hours of work and 20hours of uni, my husband earns a decent wage but has a decent debt as well (uni) and she gets to choose to work part time, not all or doesn't indicate her actual income. That's just great.

And what if the other side claims that 30% will not allow them to look after the children properly?

Yes of course its more that the children cost - are you suggesting the custodial parent does not deserve some money so they can at least survive to look after the children?  This is one the big problems with Child Support - the side paying the money claims the person getting it does not spend it on the children but rather on themselves whereas they claim as much as possible goes to the children and they only keep what is necessary to live.  What to you want - CSA to have field officers with draconian powers and go around inserting themselves into the daily life of people to try and figure out which side is in the right?  

I suggest such things are really the jobs of the courts who weigh evidence and reach a judgement.  I believe you have the right to take the matter to court.  One of the ideas of Child Support was to try and get outcomes based on a formula to save in court costs and to stop clogging up the court system.  Its probably wishful thinking to believe in such an emotionally charged area both sides will be happy with such an arrangement.  But then again it's probably wishful thinking both sides will be happy with what a court rules - and it will cost.  

 

Oldboy said
Yes of course its more that the children cost - are you suggesting the custodial parent does not deserve some money so they can at least survive to look after the children? 

 
Yes, I would suggest that. The custodial parent does not deserve ongoing monetary support from the non-custodial parent because the financials have already been worked out after separation.
Babushka said
Yes, I would suggest that. The custodial parent does not deserve ongoing monetary support from the non-custodial parent because the financials have already been worked out after separation.

Without having proof of the financial circumstances of the payee I think one needs to err on the side of caution - which is what the CSA does.  Is it open to abuse - sure - it is one of the most common complaints you hear - I don't mind paying for the children but resent paying for my ex.  They OTOH claim they need it to survive and fulfil their obligation as custodial parent which they can hardly do if destitute.  Sure I can understand the emotions involved - but if they claim they need it to survive whose to say without examining the evidence.  That's what courts are set up for - not CSA - you can take it to court if you do not agree - really that's what they are there for.  But just like CSA decisions you may not like what they say - and it will cost.

Maybe you want CSA to take on the roll to sort this out by getting the evidence and making a decision - but regardless of what decision they make someone will likely be unhappy and you will get increased angst like what I see in the posts here.  I don't blame CSA wanting to avoid it and leave it to the Courts - if in fact they have a choice - like I said I am unsure if its a legislative requirement of an internal policy.



 

Yes I would suggest that a person who's children are school age would work to support at least themselves. If there is a spouse, he should support her (not her kids). Who is going to support my financial needs when I have a baby? Are you suggesting that my husband should support his ex wife financially? I have no option but to go straight back to full time work after 1 year once I have a baby, while his ex can claim a ridiculous small income with 2 school aged children. Sorry, I have no understanding for that. Not saying it's yours or anyone's fault but it's not fair and just. Not even saying that she will stay on such redicoulous low wage she is claiming to earn, time will tell.
CSA is fast backdating if my husband would claim such wage lol… No matter how much strain it would cause the second family. I have no children yet cause i cant afford them yet, cause I am studying and working so I can afford them soon. So yes I am suggesting that child support is for the children and not spousal maintenance. Well we will see what happens. Somehow I don't think the CSA will grant the CoA on her CTE which is 5times as much as what she claims to be earning now, based on her last tax return.
sm10 said
Yes I would suggest that a person who's children are school age would work to support at least themselves. If there is a spouse, he should support her (not her kids). Who is going to support my financial needs when I have a baby? Are you suggesting that my husband should support his ex wife financially? I have no option but to go straight back to full time work after 1 year once I have a baby, while his ex can claim a ridiculous small income with 2 school aged children. Sorry, I have no understanding for that. Not saying it's yours or anyone's fault but it's not fair and just. Not even saying that she will stay on such redicoulous low wage she is claiming to earn, time will tell.
CSA is fast backdating if my husband would claim such wage lol… No matter how much strain it would cause the second family. I have no children yet cause i cant afford them yet, cause I am studying and working so I can afford them soon. So yes I am suggesting that child support is for the children and not spousal maintenance. Well we will see what happens. Somehow I don't think the CSA will grant the CoA on her CTE which is 5times as much as what she claims to be earning now, based on her last tax return.

We have a break up - one side - usually the woman - gets custody.  That means the work in rearing the children is now not even - the custodial parent is now doing more of the work so deserves compensation for it.  The extra work they do in taking their children to school, buying cloths, all sorts of stuff impinges on them being able to earn money and it seems obvious they deserve compensation for it.  The non custodial parent hates paying for it and it is open to huge abuse but it seems unavoidable.  I doubt if it went back to the courts deciding that would change in any way.

Old boy - the court deals with the property settlement that reflects future earning capacities and who has the major care of the kids etc… in their decisions. C$A should not be concerned with these aspects which are spousal maintenance issues.

You're avoiding sm10's point that she is expected by C$A to go back to work after giving birth whilst the payee can stay on parenting payment etc.. as long as she likes with no such obligation.

PS: the term custody is no longer used.
Fairgo said
Old boy - the court deals with the property settlement that reflects future earning capacities and who has the major care of the kids etc… in their decisions. C$A should not be concerned with these aspects which are spousal maintenance issues. You're avoiding sm10's point that she is expected by C$A to go back to work after giving birth whilst the payee can stay on parenting payment etc.. as long as she likes with no such obligation.

CSA does not expect her to do anything - it is each persons choice, and in conjunction with their spouse if they have one, how they decide to meet CSA obligations.  When you say CSA should not take into account the number of days spent with each parent you do realize that is determined by legislation and not CSA don't you?  If you don't like it your ire should be directed at CSA's political masters - not CSA.  But over and above that the reason it is there is clear and obvious - their is an extra demand on people that have the children with them virtually all the time.  This is spelled out clearly in information about how it was determined:
http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/childsupport/pubs/PopulationImpact/Pages/WhatsDifferent.aspx
'Recognising care: The old formula recognised the costs of care when a parent had care for more than 30 per cent of nights. The new formula recognises care above 14 per cent of nights (one night per week). Under the old system, parents who had more than 10 per cent of care were entitled to a pro-rata amount of FTB. Under the new system, parents are only entitled to a share of FTB if they have 35 per cent of care or more, because the costs of providing care at lower levels are now recognised in the child support formula.'

Looks like the payers had a big win last time it changed but you think its obviously not enough and want it abolished.  However I would suggest that is out of step with community expectations.  Still it certainly is one of those things that gets some payers really riled - they say they do not mind paying for the children but not for their ex.  Its always wise to look at the other side though:
New formula has bitter taste for mums
'Ms Swinbourne said her biggest concern with the July 1 changes was that non-custodial parents were to be induced financially into seeing their children. Child support payments reduce sharply where children spend two to four nights a fortnight, or 52 to 127 nights a year, with their non-resident parent.'

Actually I disagree on that one - to me its just common sense - any inducement for non-custodial parents to spend more time with their children should be welcomed.

It just goes to show what a minefiels this whole Child Support thing is.



Old boy,

All I am saying is that C$A should be just looking at the costs of the children and not the payees costs as these have been considered in the property settlement.

Payers did not have a big win re the changes. The new formula caused much financlal hardship to parents on low incomes with less than 35% care as they lost their Family Benefits despite still having to provide for their children needs. The changes were needed as there was no justification behind the old formula. The percentage figures were just plucked out of thin air.

Re sm10's concerns there are many documented cases re Capacity to Earn decisions that show the C$A telling one parent (payer) or their partner they have to work whilst they ignore the payees capacity to earn. If the payer can work a full time job and parent their kids from 40-60% of the time, then so can the payee.

There are also many cases where the payee has moved into another relationship and decided to have a child with that partner and using this as an excuse not to work thus increasing the payers liability and effectively making the payer provide further support to herself for the new child with her new partner.

Do you think this is fair?

Wouldn't you agree that CTE assessments should treat all parties with the same regards. The legislation implies this should be the case however C$A thinks and acts otherwise. It all about having a viable payee so they can fleece more funds from the payer.

Community expectiations are that C$A decisions should be fair. The fact that we have many step mothers on FLWG with concerns shows that C$A is not operating within these expectations.

1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets