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Moving from Oz to UK and back

Good Morning

I was wondering if you could assist with my enquiry. I have trouble getting clear infromation from the CSA and find dealing with them extremely stressful.

In a nutshell UK/Aus dual citizen. Moved (back) to UK in 2005 informing CSA (by phone regrettably). CSA liability at that point was paid and up to date with no arrears or debt. Worn out and very unwell from lengthy FCA proceedings. On departure unsure as to if/when returning to Aus. Assessable income prior to departure was accepted as $0 (as not working and relocating) therefore min CS liability. Was advised by CSA officer a permanent relocation to UK was a terminating event. No further contact with/from CSA.

Returned to Aus 2009 to be informed by CSA I had a liability of approx $6000 from the "reconciled income estimates" debacle from 1999. Also submitted tax returns for absent years as minimal share dividends received in absence and advised by ATO to lodge returns. CSA then advised as I had not paid all my minimum payments (unbeknown to me the changes in 2008 meant I had to pay $20 per week per child) I had arrears of approximately $2000 - total owing $8000. I made an arrangement which they accepted and subsequently paid this total amount off sooner than agreed. I also was re-assessed as I had started to work and lodged tax retuns from then on and have continued to pay CS and am currently now in credit.

However I now am informed by the CSA they will be billing me for the period overseas and in the absence of income information from overseas will be using a default income (2/3 MTAWE) for each period, although they did not actually state what periods they meant. I have lodged Aus tax returns for the periods overseas due to minimal earnings from shares.

I am currently waiting to hear from them as to what the total will be and how they arrive at that figure.

My questions are:

1. Was I informed correctly (by the CSA) that a permanent move to the UK was a termonating event and if so did my CS liability stop at that point? Or is that not correct?

2. Does the CSA collect income information from overseas jurasdictions? If not how does one challenge their MTAWE default income (I did not work all the time during the overseas period and also did travel)?

3. Is the CSA obliged (legally) to tell me if they have, for example, Inland Revenue or employer information from overseas or other personal information (under FOI)?

4. If the outcome means substantial arrears ($20K plus perhaps) does the CSA allow time (2 - 3 years) to pay debt off (my CS liabilty ends next year as kids will all be over 18)?

Basically it would be time consuming (and difficult) to obtain real information for them and the stress of dealing with them may make it more attractive to simply pay the arrears assuming it's not too outrageous. Hearing from them again has opened all the ugly scars and wounds off the ghosts of the past. Incidentally I have had no contact with/from children for many years apart from a 'polite' get lost (tad stronger language used) from them when I enquired as to how they were in an email a couple of years ago. Classic case of poison fed in and doing long term damage sadly.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.
fedupwiththecsa said
1. Was I informed correctly (by the CSA) that a permanent move to the UK was a termonating event and if so did my CS liability stop at that point? Or is that not correct?
I believe that under the legislation,  Child Support Assessment Act 1989 - (Act No. 124 of 1989 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Act No. 137 of 2001), in force at that time (note this was in force until 18/12/2005) that the move to the UK was a terminating event, as per:

Child Support Assessment Act - Section 12 - 12  Interpretationhappening of child support terminating events - subsection (3) said

(3)   A child support terminating event happens in relation to a person who is a liable parent in relation to a child if:
   (a)   the person dies; or
   (b)   the person ceases to be a resident of Australia.


fedupwiththecsa said
2. Does the CSA collect income information from overseas jurasdictions? If not how does one challenge their MTAWE default income (I did not work all the time during the overseas period and also did travel)?
This is starting to get quite complicated as matters cross over very significant legalisation changes (i.e those introduced from 2006-2008). It appears that it was not until 19th July 2007, that terminating events for overseas liabilities were introduced. I would say that until this date that the CSA may not have had the authority to collect any information. I believe that the fixed rate (2/3rds AMTAWE (annualised MTAWE)) didn't come into play until 1st July 2008. e.g. so could only be applied from then on. I also don't believe that it can rightfully be applied for an overseas liability as it does not, as you suggest, take into consideration overseas factors, rather it is based solely upon circumstances in Australia. However, you may wish to have a look at The CSA Guide - 2.4.11: Fixed annual rate of child support ($20 per week, per child, indexed) for certain low income parents and then perhaps 2.5.3: Application to have the fixed annual rate of child support not used

fedupwiththecsa said
3. Is the CSA obliged (legally) to tell me if they have, for example, Inland Revenue or employer information from overseas or other personal information (under FOI)?
I'm not sure.

fedupwiththecsa said
4. If the outcome means substantial arrears ($20K plus perhaps) does the CSA allow time (2 - 3 years) to pay debt off (my CS liabilty ends next year as kids will all be over 18)?
I'd suggest having a look at 5.2.1: Arrangements for payment and likely much of the rest of section 5.

I'd suggest that you may wish to have a look at other sections e.g. 3.6. However, as previously stated, due to the many legislation changes that have occurred, yours is a very complex case and the guide, as is, may not apply. Another resource that you may find useful is Comlaw (click on Key Resources, then child support …, and then on View Series to access the appropriate legislation, Note there are two main acts CS Assessment Act and CS registration and Collection Act).






Thanks Mike T. I appreciate your comments. I guess I will just have to wait and see what they come up with and what amount they say. I'm a bit surprised they can make default incomes. Seems like they just assume evryone works wherever they go and they will take their pound of flesh regardless. Who's to say an individual didn't just simply live on the charity of family and friends for any given period and make them prove othewise.
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