QLD Change of assessment CSA

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by LouiseThomas, 7 August 2018.

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  1. LouiseThomas

    LouiseThomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi Guys

    Wanted your opinion on what I should do. Ex has never worked much in his life due to various mental health issues. At the moment, I pay him due to his last taxable income (16/17) which was only $9000.

    For last few months I get the feeling he is working in his previous industry and it may just be part-time but I know he would be earning considerably more than $9000. I am worried he won't lodge his tax return this year so CSA won't know his true income. I rang and they talked about a COA. Is it worth me doing? Admittedly, he wouldn't have worked part-time or full time for the entire year, but at least a few months.
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    So CSA used to have a really good estimator on their site... I don't think it is anywhere near as good anymore. But give it a go to work out how much you might get..

    Let me use my scenario as an example... Reluctantly, because it suxs. I'm primary carer of 3 kids under 12.... (I like that bit) but the ex claims stuff all income due to being self employed in an gig that is mostly cash in hand... Does massages. Is good at it too. $100 an hour but it is mostly cash. So I worked out according to the calculator that because I earn $90K the ex would not have to pay a cent until they earned over $30K and then it would be enough to buy me a coffee twice a week...

    The good news. If the ex doesnt do his tax then after 3 or 4 yrs ( cant remember which) CSA defaults to average male weekly income ( I believe).

    Only $9000.... Show off... My ex claimed their income was $6000.... My ex is enjoying a holiday in Spain right now... I suspect that is impacting in their capacity to earn income...

    My opinion, don't bother.. WHY? Again, my experience... BUT when my ex was ordered to pay about $10 a fortnight, they did their taxes real quick and found another loophole and was more than a little bit smug about it. Just too frustrating to be bothered.
     
  3. LouiseThomas

    LouiseThomas Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply Sammy. Oh wow. But you got the kids right? So that's worth more in the long run!

    When I spoke to CSA they said he doesn't have to lodge his tax return for this recent financial year and they can keep using the previous income. I didn't know about the default income but that is a long time!

    Can it backfire on me? They said he can do the same to me. Does anyone have experience with this?
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Yep it can back fire... Look going through the whole process.
    1.Appeal csa
    2. Go to AAT(administravtive appeal tribunal)
    3. Spending time you could spend with the kids on doing paper work and stressing on it?
    Worth it?
    4. If you have any cash work, they could find that out too.
    So lots of reasons to suck it up... (hate writing this.)

    But

    Look - it depends... I reckon CSA would accept my ex should pay child support. So I could take it all the way to ATT and win, but I still would not get a cent from my ex. My ex enjoys knowing that they got away with it and loves rubbing it in.

    So when the ex agreed to put the kids in my care. I wrote up the consent orders... Experience on this site helped... So I agreed to this and that.... I have to provide clothes for their visit with the other parent.... BUT the orders don't say the ex has to return them, so the ex doesn't... Every visit costs me about $150.... 3 kids, 2 pairs of shoes, and all the rest.

    Mate I hate to say it, but untill the ex has 2-3 yrs of work history, you're wasting your time.
     
  5. SamanthaJay

    SamanthaJay Well-Known Member

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    So do you have the form?

    Application to Change your Assessment - Special Circumstances form (CS1970) - Australian Government Department of Human Services

    I think you would choose either 8A or 8B. My partner's ex lodged a change of assessment based on him having his own business and she informed CSA that he was running it financially just like she used to - paying for most personal expenses out of the business earnings. He had to provide 6 months worth of ALL BUSINESS AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS and business reports. They found in his favour but she's currently objecting as she is trying to have him refund her for things she paid for the child in December and January this year, when the child was still in her care.

    She didn't have to fill in a whole lot of paper work at all and was able to screen shot and print off her internet banking balance page for proof of bank of accounts, along with a payslip. Maybe this is one of the reasons she failed in her original application. Her objection is pitiful as well - something along the lines of one sentence saying the father should pay for these because he agreed to in the mediation agreement. She attached the receipts and the mediation agreement which was made around 4 years ago. I'm not sure what she's reading in that agreement because it doesn't actually state what she says it does.

    Currently waiting for CSA's decision on this one.
     
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  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Hey SamJAY I think you should be alright, a mediation agreement is not a binding agreement, so it can't be enforced by CSA.
    Louise - I reckon you're better off letting it go... But the age of the kids matters. See if the kids are 3 and 4 for example then the system has years to catch up with him... If the kids are 16 and 18 then less so...

    But if he is earning substantially more when it catches up he will have a debt and you won't have to pay him until that debt is cleared... It is messy. Now I'm just one opinion on here, but in my experience of appeals, and a visit or two to the AAT it just isn't worth the stress. In my case it was the ex that appealed their initial decision, she then took it to AAT and lost that. She then appealed to CSA again and lost that one... But all that crap took nearly a year and caused us both stress at a time when we really would have been better to eliminate as much stress as possible so we could get on with parenting.

    One more thought - So for the last few months you think he MIGHT have been working? Well since the financial year has just rolled over those few months of work would not make a substantial difference to how much you pay.... So do your taxes asap in July next year because they'll back date any change to the date of who ever does their tax first. If he works all this year obviously that would be a substantial change in income and you should expect the amount payable to reduce accordingly.
     
  7. LouiseThomas

    LouiseThomas Well-Known Member

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    okay thanks both great advice. I would prefer to avoid the stress definitely so I think I might just wait and see if he lodges his tax this year and whether or not that makes a substantial difference. Thanks again!
     
  8. SamanthaJay

    SamanthaJay Well-Known Member

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    just to update on my partner's ex's objection - CS allowed her the one from Jan - school books but not the one from Dec - 2018 school fees. Reading their decision, it's really contradictory. It's only about 1/5 of the total amount that his ex was seeking and this was the first year that my partner didn't pay for the school books or fees so he isn't bothered. There was a whole lot of unusual stuff going on.
     
  9. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Hey SamanthaJAY do you reckon they got the decision right based on your understanding of their rules?
    In my experience they really do make it up as they go.
    A few yrs ago I lodged a change of care with child support
    the ex lodged the same info with family tax benefit. Their systems are meant to talk so only one organisation determines the outcome, but for some reason that didn't happen. We had a dispute about how the change in care would change he care %... Anyways, CSA and Centrelink came down with two different decisions based on exactly the same information....

    In my experience - If you think they got it wrong and it is gonna cost you lots of $$ Going to AAT is a good idea.
     
  10. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    I agree with what sammy01 has said: don't be afraid to appeal it if you think they're wrong. I've had protracted battles with CSA over their determinations, followed by an application to the AAT - only to have CSA's submissions to the Tribunal state exactly what I was claiming all along. The sad thing is, they don't change their decision making and go right back to make dubious determinations.
     
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