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Can I refuse to supply company financials to SSAT

Is the SSAT capable of ordering finacials from my company which I am a sole director and if so can I seek to prevent the information being sent to my ex. The issue relates to a review of a COA?. I have relied on my tax returns. I am at a loss as to why my ex should be priviliged to this information. If I am obligated because I am a sole director, would the circumstances be different if I was to add my partner as a co-director?. By the way i have nothing to hide. It just seems unfair that she is made aware of the workings of my company.
         SSAT do have the power to require that such information is provided, if they issue a written notice as per section 103K of the Child Support Registration and Collections Act:-

Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 - Section 103K said
103K  Power to obtain information
   (1)   The SSAT Executive Director may, if it is reasonably necessary for the purposes of a review, by written notice given to the person, require a person:
   (a)   to give to the SSAT:
   (i)   within a reasonable period specified in the notice (being a period of not less than 7 days); and
   (ii)   in a reasonable manner specified in the notice;
      such information as the SSAT Executive Director requires; or
   (b)   to attend before the SSAT:
   (i)   at a reasonable time specified in the notice; and
   (ii)   at a reasonable place specified in the notice;
      and then and there answer questions; or
   ©   to produce to the SSAT:
   (i)   at a reasonable time specified in the notice; and
   (ii)   at a reasonable place specified in the notice;
      any documents in the custody or under the control of the person.
   (2)   A person commits an offence if:
   (a)   the SSAT Executive Director gives the person a notice under subsection (1); and
   (b)   the person refuses or fails to comply with the notice.
Penalty:   Imprisonment for 6 months.
   (3)   Subsection (2) does not apply if complying with the notice might tend to incriminate the person.
Note:   A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in subsection (3) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).
   (4)   A person who is required to attend under this section is allowed such expenses as are prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of subsection 120(2).

The other parties have the right to have copies of such documents to allow for procedural fairness. You could try requesting that the SSAT Executive Director, as you would live in fear of the actions that the other parent may undertake, to use their initiative to make a direction or directions that prohibits or restricts disclosure of part, parts or all of one or more documents under section 98(2) of the Child Support Registration and Collections Act. :-

Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 - Section 98 said
98  Directions prohibiting or restricting disclosure of documents
   (1)   If, after considering an application by the Registrar under section 97 for a direction in respect of a document or a part of a document, the SSAT Executive Director directs the Registrar to give each party to a review, under subsection 96(1), the document or the part of the document referred to in paragraph 95(3)(b), the Registrar must do so.
   (2)   The SSAT Executive Director may give directions (whether on application by the Registrar or on his or her initiative) prohibiting or restricting the disclosure to some or all of the parties to a review of the contents of a document or statement referred to in subsection 95(3) or (5) that relates to the review if he or she is satisfied that it is desirable to do so because of the confidential nature of the document or statement, or for any other reason.
   (3)   The SSAT Executive Director must give a copy of a direction given under subsection (2) to each party to the review.

You'd likely have to be far more specific, especially in regards as to what should not be disclosed. I suspect that any such request wouldn't be entertained, especially as between them the CSA and SSAT have been shown to disregard legislated privacy of information by simply blaming each other.

Tiger said
If I am obligated because I am a sole director, would the circumstances be different if I was to add my partner as a co-director?
No. A person, as per the Interpretations Act, includes such roles (basically a company, often the secretary, is classed as a person).

Tiger said
By the way i have nothing to hide.
However, it is quite clear that SSAT are as bad or even worse than the CSA (I strongly suspect that what were once SCO's are now part of SSAT, this due to some of the decisions/findings that have come to light) and that SSAT may well conjure up information.  As an example:-

AGRIPPA & HORTON (SSAT Appeal)   [2010] FMCAfam 1144 said
Double counting of credit card expenditure
55.   The father asserted that his credit card expenses were paid from the mortgage offset account, and thus, by adding both his credit card expenditure and all deposits to his mortgage offset account, the SSAT had counted the credit card expenditure twice.  The mother made no submission in contradiction of the fathers submission on this point.

56.   It is clear from the evidence in the Court book, for example at p.95, that payments were regularly made from the mortgage offset account to the fathers credit card.  The total of credit card purchases that the SSAT imputed as indicative of income in the 12 months from October 2008 was $15,011.94.  The total of deposits to the mortgage offset account imputed as income over the same period was $18,833.  It appears the latter figure includes the former, and to that extent the method of calculation of the fathers income has counted the same figure in the amount of a little over $15,000 twice.

57.   That is, the finding would appear to be against the evidence.  I cannot see any evidence on which such a finding, that the credit card expenditure should be counted twice, could be supported.  I note the difficulty of the task facing the SSAT in arriving at a reasonably imputed income figure for the father where he had clearly failed in his duty of financial disclosure, and that the SSAT was entitled to draw robust adverse inferences against the father from the evidence.  But where on the face of the financial records on which it has based its imputations it is counting the same figure twice, in my view it is incumbent on the Tribunal to explain why it is satisfied it is appropriate to do so if it is intentionally doing so
58.   I am therefore satisfied that the father has made out this ground of appeal and demonstrated an error of law by the Tribunal.  

I'd suggest doing a search on here for Ladd and also having a look on austlii or in the judgements section of the Family Law Court's website for cases that involve SSAT, they may well give indications of what you could be up against.
Hi…I am going through a similar process.  I am a Trustee for a family trust was that settled from my Grandparents' wills.  The only beneficiary is my mother.  I am a joint trustee along with my mother, because in NSW a single person cannot be a beneficiary and a sole trustee.  I do not receive any remuneration for my services, nor do I receive any income from the Trust.  I have perpared all my tax returns and I am a wages/salary earner, and always have been.

I have been served a notice under section 103 from a SSAT.  I have advised that them that I do not have any control or custody of any of the Trust documents. The Trust was created before I met the "sperm donor", however he has pressed both the CSA and SSAT, and also attempted to obtain information through Subpeonas through litigation, for my mother's financial details.  My mother is elderly, and I feel that, as noted below, the SSAT may take an adverse view because of the innuendo and insinuations made by the other party to obtain information that he is not entitled to.

This is the nineth review of the 2006-07 CSA period (through to SSAT in Dec 2008, then June 2009 he filed a bogus income tax return for 2005-06)  Then back to FMC to in Feb 2010 - back to CSA, objection and now SSAT again!

It is my understanding that the applicant to the SSAT (in this case the "sperm donor") has the onus to prove his claims.  Surely all the other investigations this must still stand?
Many thanks for your detailed response. Much appreciated
There is case law also in relation to SSAT appeals that give the OK for SSAT to draw inferences from the non-disclosure of information.

You are dammed if you do, and dammed if you don't. On a positive note, case you can see in the case cited above, the party was able to dispute SSAT's interpretation of his financials that he provided.

Don't trust SSAT

I have made several postings regarding this Tribunal.  From our own personal experience they misused the financial documentation to favour the other party.

All they looked at in my husbands financials was turnover not expenses in both the Profit & Loss and BAS.  Not only that, they compared apples with oranges.  ie 13 months profit and loss figures compared with 12 month tax return.

You can apply to have the Documents revoked from the Pre Hearing Directions as it is a time-consuming and tedious task (we attempted however it got knocked back).

Even though there is a Legislation, and you have to abide by it, maybe ask them a few questions about your concerns and uncertainty before you go selling your soul!!!

My husband's scenario is as follows. He had to supply 18months of Bank Statements. He did. They were all original, and uncomplicated for them to read.   The SSAT were provided with all the documentation including a note to contact us if any were missing.    The Case Manager did contact me and there were a couple that were.   It was immediately sent through.  On receipt of the Folio I did a thorough check to make sure they were all in there because the quantity vs their quantity didn't seem equal.  Oh surprise surprise.  There were approximately 60 pages of statements missing.  They must of fell out of the photocopier and into the shredder. It just so happened they were the most important financials for the time frame concerned.   My husband went through the arduous task of making the Statements complete.  Once again, and stipuating on a letter we knew the obligations and consequences and did not want to be accused of "resting on his rights" (as they use in their legislation)

On receipt of the decision my husband was accused of not providing them all!!!!!!!   My husband was also scrutinised for deleting his "personal descriptions of transactions" even though they were still able to determine the deposits and withdrawl amount (we had been told in the past you could do this to protect your privacy).

Members at SSAT are supposed to trained in dealing with financials.  WARNING:  Be careful if you have credit facilities.   When you pay your Credit Card from your Savings account, they calculate the deposit twice.  Once into the Savings and then Once into the Credit Account.  This is because you have had it go into one account as well as another.  This then results in an income that we all wish for.  It multiplies by 2.

Be careful they don't use old information from the old CSA folios.  During an old assessment application my husband had to provide several pages of Bank Statements and because the particular Statement had not been sent at that point in time the statements was downloaded from the internet.  They used this transaction history in their calculations, of course extrapolating his turnover.  They also accused him in the Decision of not providing them for the full time they required.  Hello, is any one up their.  The info was for the CSA months before hand, not in the application to the SSAT.  They had the originals in their folio but because it was in different Font they were unable to work out it was duplicate information.

In the timeframe of 18 months that the SSAT were requiring the Statements, my husband had had his wallet stolen.  Of course when you have your wallet stolen, you contact your Bank and credit provider to cancel the card. Your account is cancelled and a new number and card are sent out.

Instead of reading the bank account headings eg "BANK SA Cheque Account" or "ANZ Frequent Flyer" etc, the SSAT Tribunal  used the last four digits of the account number of every statement.  This in turn created many more accounts than he had actually had giving them another reason in their decision that "he did not supply all the statements for that account"

The legislation needs to be changed!!! Why should the ex get all the information.  When it comes to financial banking matters it should have nothing to do with them.  Do you know when dealing with the CSA and SSAT after having put all my husbands financials, tax returns, etc etc the only piece of financial documentation that was provided from the other party was a payslip.  No tax returns, nothing.  I am sure if they put the shoe on the other foot and asked the other party for their financials the response would be "thats personal information".

At no time apart from the initial dealings with the CASE Manager had we been informed of their findings yet they repeatedly scrutinised him in the decision that of course went to the other party.

 I haven't finished there. When we challenged the SSAT to provide us with the calculations they refused saying they were covered under the secrecy provisions.  This went on for some time.  It was when an application was made to the AAT that we were informed that the calculations had been destroyed.  So the evidence that they made their findings on no longer exists.  SO if you then need to take it further, ie the FMC you have no hope.

From this experience, you can probably raise several questions before agreeing to anything.

I am not a lawyer so do not take my advice in declining to provide the information.

Would not like to see you be penalised, however, if I was to ever ever go through this process I would be providing the SSAT a contract to ensure that

A) At no time are any financials are  to be mis-used, and

B) that if they need clarification on anything before the decision was made that the information would requested and sent by Registered Post in writing to the person, and

C) that there must be evidence provided to demonstrate how the Tribunal came to their Determinations of the individuals Financial and at no time refused

i)  If it is found that the Tribunal have not abided by the above whoever is involved will face severe penalties

ii) If at any time SSAT Staff/ Tribunal Members tamper, destroy or interfere with a current Application whether it be at the beginning, throughout or after the Hearing or Decision, serious penalties will also apply.

As Valere said,"You are damned if you do and your damned if you don't"

Hope this is of some help, Good Luck!
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