The Child Support and Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2010 that contains the Alignment of Care and Income Estimate Improvement amendments was introduced into Parliament this morning.
Subject to the passage of legislation these changes will be implemented from 1 July 2010.
Child support income estimates
This bill introduces amendments to the income estimate provisions in the child support legislation to align estimate periods with financial years rather than with child support periods. These amendments will make it easier for parents to estimate their income and for reconciliation to be done through an automated process. These amendments do not affect the length of the child support period, which remains at 15 months. These amendments only change the period over which income estimates are reconciled from 15 months, to a financial year. The reconciliation process checks a parents estimate of their income against their actual income, so that the correct income is used in child support calculations. This will help improve the accuracy of child support calculations to make sure that the correct information is used.
Percentage of care
The family assistance law and the child support legislation differ in how they deal with care percentages and changes in care for a child. This bill aligns care determinations made under the family assistance law and the child support legislation. This will allow parents or carers who are entitled to family tax benefit and are also child support payers or payees to have the same care determinations made for a child where the care of the child involves more than one carer.
Non-payment of family tax benefit for non-lodgment of tax returns
The bill also makes minor amendments to the family assistance law to exclude two circumstances from the provisions that prevent payment of family tax benefit on the basis of an income estimate if relevant tax returns have not been lodged.
This bill makes minor amendments to the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 and the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988.
Further information on the Alignment of Care and Income Estimates measures is available in the documents. It is important that the 'Explanatory Memorandum' is read in conjunction with the legislative changes to get a full understanding of what sections of the Act are changing.
If you have any comments on the proposed legislation please post in the CSA forums or Email us directly