CSA and court order question

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Anthony Murray

Well-Known Member
10 April 2018
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Dear member

My wife and I need to respond to a CSA application. The scenario is this; final consent orders were made 2 years ago. The other parent consented to change over at the Mother's residence or the children's school. The Father (I'm the step father) lives in regional Victoria approximately 150Kms away. He is now saying that he is unemployed and that the Mother (my wife) should cover the cost of his travel for change overs. He pays zero in Child support and is stating that the Australian Tax Office says a reimbursement of 80Cents per Kilometer should be factored in; to his calculations around $4000 per annum for collection and drop off of the children.

I would not think for one moment that the ATO taxation ruling is applicable in a CSA assessment. The father chose to live in regional Victoria and in his affidavit for the final hearing stated he would be moving back closer to the city near his children (whom live with the Mother).

Any suggestions on how I can explain this to CSA; re ATO ruling, consent orders or anything else?
 

Atticus

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6 February 2019
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My wife and I need to respond to a CSA application.
What is the application? ... Reason 1 - high costs in enabling a parent to spend time with, or communicate with, a child?

Pretty sure CSA won't accept the ATO rate, Also pretty sure it's less than 8o cents PKM anyway
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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16 February 2017
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I suggest you read this page of the Child Support Guide (all of it, it's useful information for you): 2.6.7 Reason 1 - high costs in enabling a parent to spend time with, or communicate with, a child | Child Support Guide

The relevant part with respect to car expenses is just over half way down:


"Some factors that affect the way costs are identified and measured are:
  • Motor vehicle costs - when calculating motor vehicle expenses the Registrar will generally accept that the actual cost (rather than the tax rate, AAA, NRMA, RACQ or other motor association rate) is allowable (Houlihan and Houlihan (1991) FLC 92-248(link is external)). The tax rate is designed for car travel up to 5000 km to take account of the additional costs of acquiring and maintaining a commercial vehicle and is not an appropriate measure for the costs. In considering a parent's actual costs, the proportion of use of the vehicle for the purposes of spending time or communicating with the child should be considered."
So, him claiming the tax rate is generally not acceptable.
 

Atticus

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6 February 2019
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I would not think for one moment that the ATO taxation ruling is applicable in a CSA assessment.
Correct .... The ATO rebate is in relation to running a commercial vehicle in the context of earning an income... @Rob Legat - SBPL has provided a link that explains it in part..
Any suggestions on how I can explain this to CSA; re ATO ruling, consent orders or anything else?
You shouldn't have to address it yourself ... CSA are aware of their own assessment act & should just reject the claim without you needing to respond to that particular part.. the consent orders will not be taken into consideration in a COA of this kind..

Since the payer is currently unemployed & in receipt of social security payments (& I assume on the minimum rate at best) I'm guessing this Change of assessment (COA) application is in anticipation of him resuming work?

If that's the case, then your best response is perhaps the COA be suspended pending him becoming employed..... Reason being, the costs associated with travel to facilitate contact with the child is fully dependent on income & those costs (in order to be accepted as 'high') need to meet the threshold of 5% or more of taxable income
 
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sammy01

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27 September 2015
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Dad is on a hiding to nothing. I know CSA make some bad calls sometimes, but they can't stuff this one up.

Child support isn't payable unless dad has 'shared care' That means until he has more than 35% care. So theoretically, if he had 35% care he could seek travel costs.
Plan B. IF he paid child support he could seek a reduction in his payments if he travel expenses exceeded 5% of his income. But all they would do is reduce the child support amount. But since he isn't paying child support means it is a moot point.
 
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Anthony Murray

Well-Known Member
10 April 2018
16
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74
I suggest you read this page of the Child Support Guide (all of it, it's useful information for you): 2.6.7 Reason 1 - high costs in enabling a parent to spend time with, or communicate with, a child | Child Support Guide

The relevant part with respect to car expenses is just over half way down:


"Some factors that affect the way costs are identified and measured are:
  • Motor vehicle costs - when calculating motor vehicle expenses the Registrar will generally accept that the actual cost (rather than the tax rate, AAA, NRMA, RACQ or other motor association rate) is allowable (Houlihan and Houlihan (1991) FLC 92-248(link is external)). The tax rate is designed for car travel up to 5000 km to take account of the additional costs of acquiring and maintaining a commercial vehicle and is not an appropriate measure for the costs. In considering a parent's actual costs, the proportion of use of the vehicle for the purposes of spending time or communicating with the child should be considered."
So, him claiming the tax rate is generally not acceptable.
Thank you very much for pointing me in the direction to find the relevant information. This is very helpful to me