VIC CSA section 72a garnish order

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

Joe Black

Well-Known Member
9 January 2019
40
6
154
Hi,
The CSA emailed me with a change of assessment payment amount. I they have given me a deadline for my objection and after this date the debt becomes collectable.

I fully intend to object to the change of assessment and am collecting the evidence. I told them I will be objecting too.

However, they have now issued a section 72a notice advising they have intercepted my tax return in lieu of payment of the debt.

What can I do under 72a as the debt has to be collectable and this does not occur until the deadline has been reached, as this gives me the opportunity to dispute the amount.

Also the letter does not comply with the requirement listed in section 72.

Being realistic should I contact the CSA and ask for the return of the money as the criteria for 72a has not been met yet ie the debt is not yet collectable? And if I do contact them what would a realistic outcome be??

Thanks for your input.
 

Joe Black

Well-Known Member
9 January 2019
40
6
154
I think that there has been a departure from how a 72a notice is administered and also a departure from the APS code of conduct as who ever authorised the order has not acted with care and diligence.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
1,870
267
2,394
The CSA emailed me with a change of assessment payment amount.
So has the COA been issued as a result of an application under one of the 10 reasons or just a change in your normal assessment?

If the later, then it would already meet the definition of a 'relevant debt' & can be intercepted.... That shouldn't alter your right to object to the COA though. So basically, if your objection is successful the intercepted money should be returned or put your CS payments into credit.
Also the letter does not comply with the requirement listed in section 72
How so?
Assuming you mean this section of this act >>> CHILD SUPPORT (REGISTRATION AND COLLECTION) ACT 1988 - SECT 72 Application of certain amounts to debts under this Act
 

Docupedia

Well-Known Member
7 October 2020
306
38
719
You'll probably find that the CSA considers your changed assessment amount shortfall (i.e. what they consider has not been paid) as a debt which is 'due but not yet payable' - pending the objection deadline. We often think due and payable is the same thing, and it's just 'lawyer speak', but they are two separate (but linked) concepts. Think of it like a bond for a house which you pay to a landlord. Lawful claims for damage etc. aside, the landlord owes you the bond back at some point. That means the bond is due to you - it's your money. During the tenancy the landlord is not required to return the bond to you. However, when the tenancy ends the landlord must return it to you - that is when it becomes payable. To be more correct, a payable debt must be due so the term 'due and payable' is used.

[As an aside - if you want to further liken it to child support, consider that your objection is like the landlord making a claim for damages against the bond. No claim - no deduction. No objection - full assessment shortfall payable.]

When the CSA assesses a debt that is an official decision - which makes the debt due. However, you've got an opportunity to object to it so they can't yet make it payable. This would be termed a debt 'due but not yet payable' (so, to use the above - a bond is paid but not yet refundable).

Then, to refer to the CSA Guide at: 5.2.8 Tax refund intercepts | Child Support Guide

"Which debts will the amounts be applied to?
The Registrar cannot obtain and hold a refund amount in order to apply it to a debt that may become due and payable in the future. However, section 72 does apply to debts that are due but not yet payable.

If the person's relevant debt equals or exceeds the amount of the tax refund owing to the person, the Registrar can apply the full amount to the debt. Where the relevant debt is less than the amount owing, the Registrar can apply an amount equal to the amount of the debt. The Commissioner will refund the balance to the person (CSRC Act section 72(3))."

I've underlined the appropriate sentence.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
1,870
267
2,394
You didn't answer my question. But if it IS just an adjustment to your normal formula assessment, then it is what is termed a relevant debt, & they can therefore intercept a tax credit.