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Child support deby excedes 2.6bn

Filed under: General — Alastair @ 2:56 pm Thu 28th February 2013

Child support debt exceeds $2.6b

Child support debt has ballooned to more than $2.6 billion in New Zealand and shows no sign of abating, as Inland Revenue struggles to rein in those who are falling behind in payments.

IRD figures released under the Official Information Act show child support debt in this country had risen by more than 13 per cent in a year.

The most recent data showed a total debt of $2.61 billion as of November 30, last year.

In 2011, figures showed almost eight out of 10 of those liable for child support were behind in their payments, owing Inland Revenue almost $2.3 billion.

The IRD was unable to give an accurate breakdown of numbers of men compared with women paying child support because the data was not held.

But of the debt currently owing, $337 million was deemed “uncollectable” and more than $1.9 billion of the total debt had been incurred through penalties over late payments.

Northland father of three Matt Turner said the systems did not make it easy for parents who wanted to make sure their children were provided for.

Turner divorced from his wife in 2009 and has been paying child support since then.

But when IRD conducted an administrative review, upon her request, Turner immediately found himself with more than $10,000 worth of debt.

“The system just seems incredibly flawed to me, in that there’s no way to adjust it if you find yourself out of pocket because of incorrect information.”

In 2012, more than 4200 administrative reviews were conducted over child support payments. Of those, a quarter resulted in a change to the amount of money a parent had to pay in child support.

Documents obtained by Stuff show when Turner took on a new position which involved a pay rise mid last year, he advised IRD of his new pay rate.

But because he was already up to date with payments to the end of that financial year, the IRD said he did not need to change anything, and was in fact in credit by more than $300.

“And with the stroke of a pen, it just seems they’ve completely ignored all the information they had on file and have charged me on what they think I have the potential to earn,” Turner said.

Administrative review documents show although Turner’s new income was $68,536 per year, his child support income was reset at $73,536.

“The income of $73,536 is arrived at by taking Mr Turner’s income of $68,536 for 2013, extrapolated over the year… plus the financial benefit of $5000 that he derives from the use of a company car,” the review decision said.

Turner said as of April, his payments would be adjusted again to reflect the correct amount of money he was being paid – reducing from $1372 per month, back down to $273 – but he would still be left with the debt.
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“At the end of the day I love my children, and always want them to be provided for, so anything that needs to be paid, will be paid.

“But it just doesn’t seem like the system is there to encourage parents to make those payments, rather, it applies a serious amount of pressure to the point of becoming incredibly difficult to get out of what can be crippling debt in some situations.”

And it would appear the Auditor General agrees with that sentiment.

In a 2010 report, Lyn Provost said the current system was “inflexible” and did not support effective management of child support debt.

“I cannot help but observe that, rather than supporting compliance, the penalty regime is impeding the effectiveness of the child support scheme,” she said.

“Child support schemes work best when parents pay voluntarily.”

Turner was now discussing the possibility with his ex-wife of making voluntary payments outside the IRD, which legally could be done, but in many situations agreements could be hard to reach

Inflexibility doesn’t work for either party. All it becomes is a government source of revenue (Penalties) It does make overseas jobs, no matter how risky suddenly become highly attractive. Could these unexpected demands from IRD be a trigger of male suicide?

Either way the child looses! We definitely need a more flexible system. One that facilitated communication between the cild(ren)’s parents would be a great starting point.


  1. There is another story in today’s NZ Herald by Jared Savage as well.
    That identifies a New Zealander who left to Aussie and was hounded by IRD here and there relating to Child Support debt that grew to $53,000 before he topped himself.
    I responded to Jared today with the following;

    I was disappointed at the headline on your story about Child Support.
    The headline focuses on the alleged debt which is two thirds made up of ridiculous penalties that the Auditor General has decided are a disincentive for parents to pay. Her report omits to seriously consider the linkage between Child Support payments and contact between the paying parent and his or her children. When contact occurs compliance is high, when contact does not happen on a regular basis compliance becomes an issue and the current penalties regime drives paying parents into avoidance and debt. It sets up a vicious spiral and both children and other taxpayers pay the price of poor legislation and administration by IRD.
    It is regrettable that the proposals currently before our parliament house from Mr Peter Dunne as Minister of Revenue address only some of the issues in the Child Support debate. Unfortunately Mr Dunne needs to work harder to address this issue.
    Most parents assessed for Child Support and who have regular contact with their children pay and do so willingly. This includes most of our members. I have today though been phoned by three members and they have referred me to your article. They are typical of my case load of issues and I thought you may like more information about their situations.
    One father (Chris M) from Wellington shares the care of his three children 50:50 with his ex-wife. They are in the process of finalising the separation of their matrimonial property after separating 4 years ago. She has been on the DPB since then and he understands that she receives about $560 a week in benefit, child allowances, accommodation supplement and a disability allowance for a child. This is a net income to her of about $29,000pa which equates to a gross income for her of about $35,000. (These are fathers figures as outlined to me this morning. I have not checked them myself). He earns a salary of $68,000pa and has a student loan he is paying off. For his three children in shared care he pays 31.7 cents in the dollar for PAYE and ACC, he pays 21 cents in the dollar for Child Support and 120 cents in the dollar for his student loan and this rate increases to 12 cents in the dollar from 1 April 2013. His tax (on his income over $48,000) is 62.7% and he is left with just 37.3%. He can’t work overtime as it cuts into his parenting time. He already needs to pay a nanny $60 a week to care for his children until he gets home just after 4pm each day. Amazingly this chap has his three children in a Steiner school and pays significant extra-curricular activities as well. He showed me a list of expenses for last year where he spent an additional $15,500 on his three children’s schooling and activities. He pays $600 a month in Child Support and his total living expenses for himself and his three children is about $12,000. Because his ex-wife is on the DPB he does not claim child support from her. He told me without rancour but with confusion that he lives off $12,000 a year in the hand and cares for his children half time and she gets $29,000 a year in benefits in the hand but he still has to pay Child Support.
    The second father to contact me today is a high earner. His income from a sales commission based job is about $150,000pa. He has 2 boys in shared care. His e-wife is a chartered accountant who was working full time while they were together. She is not working at the moment as she has a three year old child to a new partner who is also a chartered accountant. This Father (David B) pays $1370 a month to his ex-wife in Child Support and he meets half the children’s living costs and half their schooling etc. costs. He rang me as he has looked at the proposals Mr Dunne currently has before the house and he sees he will pay more under the new regime not less as he hoped. He thinks it is unfair that his ex does not work and yet the lifestyle afforded in her new family situation is greater than he can afford on an above average salary. His ex, 2 sons, their half-sister and their stepfather all spent 8 weeks last year touring Europe. David struggles each month to pay the mortgage on the family home which he has extended to 30 years for repayment. At a recent IRD Administrative Review hearing his ex-wife revealed her mortgage is being paid off over an eight year period for a home of similar valuation that she has purchased with her new partner. This dad says he struggles financially and his teenage sons moan that he isn’t as generous as mum is.
    The third father I have spoken to today receives Child Support for his 16 year old daughter who lives with him. Last year his ex-wife was assessed at $1400 a month in child support. This year she has been made redundant and is contributing just $300 a month. He rang to run through the figures with me and to confirm they seemed reasonable. He told me that last year he used the Child Support paid by his ex to fund a trip to Vietnam that his daughter went on with her school and for her to visit her maternal grandmother in Australia twice. However his own situation has changed this year and he is concerned that his new partners business is failing and he works for a Mainzeal subcontractor and is currently on forced annual leave until further notice.
    If I can be of assistance in providing more case study information for further articles on this topic I am available. E-mail is a good way to contact me.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 4:06 pm

  2. Maybe if the other party lets him or her (mainly her) see the child/ern then maybe it will be paid…this government needs to do something about this…stop child support until such time as regular visits etc take place…
    then we must take into account when the child/ern do come for visits etc it does cost for entertainment etc..
    to many mind games go on…yes i’m a female but i have son’s an i see what goes on , Mind games, their silly little games…

    Comment by Mum of Sons — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 4:17 pm

  3. All you need is to be man enough to capture all those [Group name removed by moderator. Conspiracy theories are NOT on topic for this site] politicians in your country, execute them, cancel the democracy, execute any misandrist in NZ, there have been 4000 Aussie men who suicided for family court issues, they are slaughtering all men in NZ silently man after a man, so instead of suiciding in the shade unite yourself and burn all those [Group name removed by moderator. Conspiracy theories are NOT on topic for this site] alive.

    Comment by Kamal — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  4. and by the way if you don’t take firm actions against those [Group name removed by moderator. Conspiracy theories are NOT on topic for this site] and try to fight them by their own tactic (Democracy) things will only get worse, trust me on that one.

    Comment by Kamal — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 4:33 pm

  5. Democracy and politics is their own game and they will always win whatever you do, those people need a bloody revolution.

    Comment by Kamal — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 4:34 pm

  6. Allan this is so heart breaking, poor Dad’s i thought they were going to start looking at both parents new partners an total house hold income!!!

    Comment by Mum of Sons — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 4:38 pm

  7. Kamal,
    You suggestion that homicide is a solution to any problem is unhinged.
    I have a friend who is a bricklayer and I don’t think suggesting the execution of people based on their trade or their club/religion/philanthropy associations is sane.
    Please don’t post such nonsense here as it makes us all look stupid by association.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 4:57 pm

  8. “The IRD was unable to give an accurate breakdown of numbers of men compared with women paying child support because the data was not held.”

    How can that data not be held? I call BS.

    ‘And with the stroke of a pen, it just seems they’ve completely ignored all the information they had on file and have charged me on what they think I have the potential to earn,’ Turner said.

    Ah the good old “potential earnings” scam we’ve all be part of!

    Again no mention of how much this is costing society to bankrupt good honest men and therefore damage children even more.

    Comment by Scott B — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 5:10 pm

  9. Hi Scott; I suspect that most men would be more than happy just to have custody of their kids and wouldn’t be too concerned about imposing on their ex’s for any pecuniary support. As such; the number of women paying child support would be so close to zero that the IRD probably considers it a worthless exercise tracking that trivial data. And lest we forget; the game is called “bully males, not females”.

    Comment by Bruce S — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 6:23 pm

  10. I know, I was just thinking out loud. I tend to state the obvious a lot.

    Comment by Scott B — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 6:58 pm

  11. Allan Harvey,
    What are you talking about? NZ ARE getting KILLED everyday by this system, forcing you to suicide is much worse than killing you. they want you DEAD, for them a good NZ man is a DEAD man.

    Comment by Kamal — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 7:44 pm

  12. Trying to navigate the CS act for an independent set of rules is worse than attempting to have a logical discussion with a Social Worker on the CYPF act! CS is Gender neutral. It is simply not applied in a Gender neutral manner.

    It seems that IRD exert the power of God over any property you may use.

    Comment by Gwahir — Thu 28th February 2013 @ 8:18 pm

  13. In 4 years the NZ Child tax system is forcast to be in so called debt of $7 billion. The system is collapsing under it’s own weight.

    The proposed changes of 10 per cent penalties and 1 percent interest is not addressing the fact that these penalities are a failure and are counter productive.

    The whole basis of child support needs to have a different approach.
    There should be 2 parts.
    Part A should be complusary and should just be the minimum to provide a child with the absolute basics.
    Part B should be voluntary and could be what the government think people should pay but what ever ideology happens to be in vogue.

    The government needs to say to parents – yes we think the parent should pay A plus B but it is not our job to force people to be good parents. All we can do if force them to pay part A so that the child does not suffer. If you want the parent to pay part B then we suggest you involve them in the child’s life and be cvil towards them. If not, then you choose a bad partner but it is not the government’s job to be relationship police.

    Comment by V_man — Fri 1st March 2013 @ 1:40 am

  14. The revenue game is fairly simple. If you don’t comply you either die or run.

    The effects of the previous Child Support Agency shifting to revenue administration (apart from seeing more people dying and running than complying) are considerable and seldom discussed but they are a very under-estimated impediment on our economy and our society.

    The sudden indebtedness-by-administrative-review, for some fathers, can be much higher than mentioned above when it is used as a vindictive measure by ex wives or a punitive measure by the IRD – (penalties and benefit funding in disguise and malicious strikes against potential reformers)

    The IRD is selective about the information it releases and to which journalists. If you look at the disgusting article produced by that bitter and twisted sandwich maker – Michelle Robinson – you will see that she quotes the IRD ‘media spokesperson’ giving a breakdown of gender statistics.

    In other situations the IRD simply refuses to release official information to activist groups because they not only have the support of the Revenue Minister but they also know they are shielded from exposure in the media.

    Dunne-it-again stood up in our parliament this week at the second reading of the Child Support Amendment Act and said he was “proud” of this legislation. Most law has an acceptable failure rate – there is always the exceptional situation that occurs which it cannot accommodate but to be proud of legislation that has failed and will continue to fail because it is slightly modified version of the old legislation which the taxman doesn’t have the administrative facility to accommodate is plain lunacy.

    The parade of complainers turning up at electorate offices isn’t going to stop when this bill passes into law. It will not lower the current death rate – the real death rate which is higher than the road toll or cancer deaths and the virtual death rate which kills fathers, taxpayers and social contributors.

    Where have all the good men gone they ask – they’ve given you the two fingered salute and walked away – would you rather they took revenge and killed someone; that will happen one day and it won’t need a conspiracy theory just someone to get angry enough because their life has been stolen from them in the name of their children.

    Comment by Down Under — Fri 1st March 2013 @ 7:37 am

  15. The phrase “child support debt” is misleading. It implies that the money “owed” would go to supporting children (in fact most of it would go to the government); and “debt” implies that you once borrowed something (when in fact you didn’t make any agreement to borrow anything – the government simply says you owe it). Why tell these lies? It’s propaganda, hiding what’s really going on.

    And what’s really going on is parasitism. Parasites defeat the host by fooling the host’s defenses. To find out who’s feeding on whom, you need to follow the money. Families are being actively broken up and money which could otherwise be spent on them is being used by the government. There is no “support” of children. The government is feeding itself off them.

    Comment by Ted — Fri 1st March 2013 @ 9:01 am

  16. Hi,

    I am the one who initiated the article Stacey wrote and overall I am happy to get some coverage. Some is better than none. I’m glad she highlighted the huge difference in what I was fictionally assessed last year – $1376 per month verses next years $276 per month!
    I think both figures are wrong and hopefully will come to a middle ground arrangement with my ex.
    I will let you all know.


    Comment by Broke Father — Fri 1st March 2013 @ 9:21 am

  17. I have four children. One was working last year and happily has decided to go back to school (he is 17) and live with me. He is solely financially dependent on me.
    I was admin reviewed a year ago and deemed to be single (as opposed to the actuality of a defacto relationship) and also assesed for an amount 4 years ago (i did everything asked of me by the department at that time and disclosed all-WTF) Any way, informed the department that i now had my son as a dependent. They advised me that as i was still in the admin review period (expires 310313)i am not entitled to haev him included as a dependent as part of my living allowance but that i am free to write to the admin review technical people to see what they think. Funny how quickly they garnishee my salary when things are going the other way. Its a joke

    Comment by shafted — Fri 1st March 2013 @ 10:36 am

  18. I agree with Ted – most of the money collected does not actually go to children. The debt situation is interesting though.

    When you look at an administrative review it is something similar to being in bankruptcy except it is around the other way.
    With bankruptcy first a court makes a judgement and declares you bankrupt then you are in administration and the official assignee looks after that.

    The child support legislation makes that judgement and declares all separated fathers (and occasionally some mothers) bankrupt and they are in administration for the life of their children. Some fathers don’t notice this because they make their own arrangements with the mother or their child support is deducted from their wages and they simply accept it as fait accompli and life goes on.

    However at any time the administrator’s powers can be turned on by application to the authority which in this case is the IRD rather than the official assignee because child support is a debt to the crown and is not expunged by bankruptcy. The only way to challenge the decision of the administrator is to go to court – in this case the Family Court is where you appeal and we all know what happens there, the court rules in favour of the state.

    When a person is in bankruptcy you go to the administrator and say that person owes me money and I want it plus interest. With child support, same thing, you go to the administrator and say that person owes me money.

    This legislation is civil law and it doesn’t only affect parents with children under 19 it affects those children also. It is making a judgement in advance on them – as soon as boys become a father they are under the administration of the state.

    Comment by Down Under — Fri 1st March 2013 @ 10:36 am

  19. 17 completely agree. They are more than willing to take money but if they stand to collect less then all of a sudden there a brick walls in every direction.

    Comment by Scott B — Fri 1st March 2013 @ 10:51 am

  20. Perhaps the reason IRD are not able to take into account reductions in assessment, especially if backdated, is that they are basically powerless – or at least unwilling – to actually recover that amount from the custodial parent.
    And no doubt the old reviewers are under bonus incentives to ‘increase’ penalties due (IRD’s ‘income’ increases), as well as under heavy pressure not to let their (IRD’s) liabilities (money they owe in reversals) to increase.
    By that I mean, if you are effectively overcharged CS, it has either been passed on to the custodial parent, or book-kept into some contra-account to write off DPB payments. The latter would be effectively passed on to WINZ. Either way, IRD can’t, or it is too difficult – to recover / reverse these.

    Comment by happy larry — Fri 1st March 2013 @ 5:06 pm

  21. there is simply nothing we can do, GOVT has a bad policy and there are no others to vote in that will change this. I say tell your sons to never have children. It’s just not worth the risk, see what happens when all our daughters can’t find partners.

    One solution might be to get as many men as possible to stop paying and remove all savings from bank accounts so IRD can’t take it, problem is asset sales I guess?

    Were all screwed!

    Comment by Too Tired — Fri 1st March 2013 @ 9:23 pm

  22. Aw come on guys, we should all be doing our bit to help Peter DunneNuthin and IRD out here. Clearly in order to see this CS debt grow to $5, $7 hell matbe $10Billion, we’ve all got do pitch in and help.

    Solution is to sell everything you have, and bury your cash assets deep where IRD can never find them. Sierra Leone sounds good. Maybe Channel Islands. Somewhere where you can one day access it to fund a quiet retirement in Greece.
    And then go on a benefit. Make sure you live up your entire benefit, so no spare cents left over each week.
    Of course you will not have smartphone, internet, car or any basic luxuries for IRD to grab and sell. You retain just the clothes you wear.
    You will need to find very cheap accomodation – flatting, or maybe tentsites or a cabin at your local campground. Make sure you are devoid of any assets.

    Then go and start pumping children out anywhere you can. Target to be a beneficiary with 15 or more non-custodial children all to different mothers. You’ll have to cover your circumstances, as each of those mums will want to think you’re asset rich and going to be a great dad, who’ll do all the housework etc etc ad sickinum. And you have to keep all you’re cohorts separate, but hey, with a bit of ingenuity, you’ll figure it out.

    If enough men do this, try and fight to have the record number of offspring. Try and get 20 to 30 women pregnent (consensually, of course) within a year or so, so that IRD suddenly get a corresponding number of DPBing mums all claiming CS from you, more or less similtaneously!

    Now if we can just get maybe 1,000 men on board to do this, IRD can get maybe 20,000 additional CS files going over the next year. Keep it up (literally) and we can grow that number an additional 20,000 DPB-dependent bubs each year = maybe 100,000 in 5-6 years time. Of course the max you’ll be dinged for, is maybe $25 week ot of your benefit.

    In due course (quite rapidly, I’d say), many of those poor aggreived DPBer mums will seek Admin Reviews, so this should start to grow the CS mountain more exponentially, as we all get assessed on assets we no longer have, incomes we’ve never earned and are never likely to earn.
    Estimate maybe 10,000 additional Admin Reviews each year, will be a phenomenal growth industry, and will keep all those lawyers and other so-called Famil Court experts re-employed when those other proposed Family Court changes kick in.

    As an aside, I think the next lefty government will then kick in a law barring and man without assets and career, or who already has more than 2 offspring, from haviing further children. – oh I’d say pretty well overnight …

    Comment by happy larry — Sat 2nd March 2013 @ 6:57 am

  23. LOL happy larry, thanks but one psycho is enough to deal with, not gonna try for 20 to 30!

    Comment by Scott B — Sat 2nd March 2013 @ 7:22 am

  24. Yeah, but wait till you have 20 or more – and you get to tell them all to wait in line! THAT’s power and control!!!!!

    Comment by happy larry — Sat 2nd March 2013 @ 8:19 am

  25. That may conflict with the South Auckland arrangement. Their theory is to have an unemployed fall guy (we’ll call him Tiny Moula for the sake of the story) amongst the bros. When one of the girls gets pregnant she trots off and picks up the DPB and of course names the father as Tiny Moula. Some of these Tiny Moulas have a dozen kids but still pay minimum child support and they sort the dollars out with their mates who pay none -they take home all their pay if they are working. I suppose it is the same thing in a way – a protest against child tax but they don’t even have to live in poverty just South Auckland.

    Comment by Down Under — Sat 2nd March 2013 @ 10:18 am

  26. hey never thought of that approach, having one man pay for a group of kids is fantastic! these days it doesn’t matter if your the DNA father or not anyway.

    Cant have lots of kids myself so the other idea of spawning more kids is outta the question.

    Can the IRD sell my motorhome if I get into arrears? If it’s my only asset that is? With no address they might find it difficult to collect. I say find any way you can to avoid CS until the kids are 18 then go get that job you should’ve had all along.

    Comment by Too Tired — Sat 2nd March 2013 @ 9:05 pm

  27. Michael Laws Opinion. – Michael himself is likely a victim of Child support!

    Every year, New Zealand is ritually informed that we are a nation of derelict dads. That a disproportionate number of the male gender are shirking their collective responsibility to their offspring, by reneaguing on their child support obligations.

    The latest figures released by the IRD quantify that neglect. Over $2.7 billion is owed and 20 per cent of the liable parents are swanning it over in Australia. $2,700 million – dear Lord, it’s almost the entire GDP of the South Pacific.

    Until one delves beyond the headlines and realises that over two-thirds of this debt is actually IRD penalty payment. And that the IRD has limited resources to recover this sum or even the original – the financial obligations growing with every year.

    This is not the IRD’s fault. The real problem is the child support policy that they administer and its manifest unfairness. In specific, its appalling inability to understand that every separation, every split family, every familial dynamic – is different. And that applying one rule to all is an exercise in futility.

    The dynamic of the Family Court and family law has also fundamentally altered since the passage of the Child Support Act in 1991. Indeed our entire society has changed since then – including an acceptance that marriages, partnerships and relationships aren’t forever.

    Even if the kids are.

    Indeed couples seem to regard having a child as an entr̩ e to a permanent settled relationship rather than its purpose. The welfare state may have systematically encouraged the feckless to breed Рbut it has also sent the rest of us a message too.

    The child is a cash cow but only if you are in possession.

    And that’s where the Care of Children Act has made such a difference. It presumes something that the Child Support Act doesn’t. That both mum and dad would like to have care of their children – and that neither is necessarily better. The move towards fifty-fifty or shared care of children – after separation – is the new imperative.

    Yes, but that presents a huge problem. Instead of mum and dad taking shared financial responsibility too, the Child Support Act blunders in and levies both parents. The stupidity is that they essentially pay each other. And that one parent often ends up subsidising the lifestyle and bad choices of the other.

    To make matters worse, the act also financially disincentives working parents from any upward aspiration. The obligations that a $40,000 a year parent has – compared to an $80,000 a year parent – are considerably less. Indeed the current law is like adding a 25 per cent surcharge to all gross income over $40,000. In many cases, more.
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    Unsurprisingly perhaps, the law has acted as another reason why overseas destination has become so attractive.

    The fact that one’s child support payments are also completely unrelated to any reciprocal visitation or custody rights is another monstrous issue. The law demands separation of the two issues but that is both unfair and inhuman. Being levied not to see your children, is an exercise in cruelty.

    Supposedly the government is reviewing the archaic Child Support Act but that is an exercise that has been repeatedly delayed.

    In the meantime, inequities abound and avoidance has reached epidemic levels.

    Comment by Gwahir — Sun 3rd March 2013 @ 7:25 am

  28. In New Zealand ‘father’ is a myth from last century.

    Now, there are only state-parents; those in a relationship or separated, DNA parents, caring parents and paying parents.

    You could be a DNA parent and not know or you could be a paying parent and NOT a DNA parent and never know. You could be a caring parent and a DNA parent or a caring parent and NOT know that you are NOT a DNA parent.

    The only thing you really know for certain is that you are a paying parent. Yes it is true after all; the only certainties in life are death and taxes.

    Comment by Down Under — Sun 3rd March 2013 @ 9:59 am

  29. Almost $70,000 a year and pays just over $60 a MONTH for 3 children – wow. That’s not even $1 a day for a child.

    Comment by worried — Sun 3rd March 2013 @ 11:56 pm

  30. To make matters worse, the act also financially disincentives working parents from any upward aspiration. The obligations that a $40,000 a year parent has – compared to an $80,000 a year parent – are considerably less. Indeed the current law is like adding a 25 per cent surcharge to all gross income over $40,000. In many cases, more.

    Good on Michael Laws for getting something in the opinion pages but you won’t see this in the news. That I think has as much to do with the naivety and immaturity of the reporters as it does with feminist-commercial sensitivities and media competition.

    However, looking at the obligations and disincentives mentioned in the block quote; this is where it is easy to overlook the social impact of child support.

    The suggestion in this statement is that the disincentive is simply avoiding paying an increase in the child-support obligation which increases as income increases and quite right why should we subsidise someone else’s lifestyle.

    The underlying assumption here is all fathers are absent – take as much as you can get.

    Dealing in a narrow wage range also skews perceptive. There is an income cap at which child support ceases. If you are closer to marginal rate then child support I would suggest is actually an incentive to earn income in the child-support free income range.

    Looking at obligations (rather than child-support obligation in isolation) these are much higher for the 40,000 income than the 80,000 income. The cost of housing is one important factor to consider as it is a more punitive obligation for the lower income earner, so much so, that the greater incentive is not to chase small increments in wages but to look at better housing options. The admission will be a long time coming that the child support act is one of the greatest incentives driving men offshore simply to obtain a reasonable standard of living. In other words the standard of living is not commensurate with income and does not facilitate the ability to accommodate children in their lives anyway.

    The underlying assumption here is that child support will equalise income but it doesn’t – it creates such a disparity that it becomes a perverse incentive.

    The IRD is far from blameless. In an economy that is so dependent on small business it has been operating policy responsible for driving small business out of business and out of the country (especially tradesmen) for years.

    In simple terms the IRD makes no distinction between income and cash flow obligations. It is like trying to operate a restaurant without food to sell.

    When the work dies off a little, once again the obligations become higher for the lower income earner. You still have to pay the bills to run the business – it is as essential as tools of trade.

    Why are we surprised people go to Australia and other places. The child support regime stifles incentive I agree but not simply in the way that Mr Laws suggested – that will be dismissed as winging about paying your child support.

    Comment by Down Under — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 7:55 am

  31. Almost $70,000 a year and pays just over $60 a MONTH for 3 children – wow. That’s not even $1 a day for a child.

    Sounds like fiction to me!

    There could be shared care and an offset or an admin review, but standard formula is a minimum of $185.85 pw.

    Comments like yours add no value to the discussion as no detail is given.

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 9:49 am

  32. 29 and 31
    I agree with Scrap.
    The only other option is this mother or father has dozens of children she/he is paying for and the disbursments are thinly spread.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 11:05 am

  33. @Allan What about a subcontractor like a courier driver. Sure he might gross $70,000 a year but his gas bill alone might be 10-15k plus tyres and maintenance, acc, compulsory purchase of uniform and insurance could knock $35,000 off that and it is actually an income of $35,000 which includes holiday pay which is used to pay another driver to cover the run.

    Comment by Down Under — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 11:23 am

  34. #1 Allan. I don’t have much sympathy for the first 2 Fathers in your post. They are BOTH contributing money over and above their CS obligations. They don’t have to. It’s their choice. No doubt, the children’s Mothers would blame the Fathers that their kids could no longer participate in school activities BUT, it’s not the fault of the Fathers.

    Comment by golfa — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 11:28 am


    Comment by kumar — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 2:33 pm

  36. Down Under (#33)
    I’m not an accountant but the issue is about gross take home income or in business parlance, drawings.
    Many contractors have set themselves up as companies or in partnerships or as sole traders. Whatever the structure the businesses gross income should never form the basis of a Child Support calculation. It is the business profit (or drawings if that is greater) which is the basis for the Child Support calculation.

    Unfortunately I have met several chaps who have not filed a return or done accounts for many many years and I have seen IRD attempt to lean on thenm threatening turnover as the basis of a Child Support calculation until I came into the picture.

    I have also had several people come to me whose tax affairs and general business affairs are so shambolic that crazy things have happened. Some have enetered into property settlements (and idiot lawyers have misadvised them) where by they have given away assetts to their ex and they retain huge liabilities in the form of loans and unpaid taxation worth many many 10’s of thousands of dollars more than the property gifted away the ex in the matrimonial properyyu settlement.
    Being up to date with business matters is important when it comes to dividing property and it helps for Child Support as well.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 3:00 pm

  37. @ Allan

    Almost $70,000 a year and pays just over $60 a MONTH for 3 children – wow. That’s not even $1 a day for a child.

    All I am saying is that this statement is ambiguous and suggestive and probably intended to be misleading. It is quite conceivable that a person receiving $70,000.00 a year could pay $60.00 a month in child support and still be working their arse off and living in abject poverty – and that’s another debate.

    Comment by Down Under — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 3:46 pm

  38. As Scrap says it is fiction.
    Even with shared care the payments would be over $800 a month.
    The only possibility that exists for this kind of payment might be someone who had multiple receiving parents (like paying to 15-20 different mothers or fathers) and the $800 plus he pays being shared among 20 plus children. With that extremely unusual situation what one parent receives might be as little as $60 a month but be assured the paying parent would be having $800 plus extorted from his 70K salary.
    As Scrap correctly says worried pussy cat # 29 is just here stirring and telling porkies.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 8:00 pm

  39. Allan,

    I can think of only 1 other possible scenario.

    It could be a voluntary agreement but I think stirring and telling porkies is most likely.

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 8:19 pm

  40. If it is a voluntary agreement then she agreed to it.
    Other options might be having left a big chunk in a property settlement for the kids or paying huge private school fees but all this is highly unlikely and just deceptive BS from worried pussycat.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 8:31 pm

  41. Don’t IRD supply your other half with your financial statements?

    It is not necessarily porkies. If the top line is $70,000 and the child support is $60 you can understand the validity of the question.

    I think by denying that question you deny another very valid question which does happen in New Zealand. How can a guy work his arse off in good faith and get nothing in return for his effort.

    Comment by Down Under — Mon 4th March 2013 @ 8:33 pm

  42. Hi Down Under,
    No IRD do not share any financial information. However any moron with a calculator can work out the gross Child Support is based on from payments received and a few assumptions.
    What you allude to is an Administrative Review process where some parents feel obliged to share details. This is not the case and I advise anyone speaking to me to carefully file the nosey form about assets and projected budgets and partners details etc etc in the circular file. When IRD send this form they are also very clear on the fact that anything filed in will be shared with the other party so it would be really stupid to fill in the form and submit it.
    I suggest parties to an admin review take evidence with them to their interview with a clear instruction that it can be viewed by the review officer and not copied and NOT shared with the other party.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Tue 5th March 2013 @ 9:36 am

  43. Child support
    Latest figures from Inland Revenue show that unpaid child support now sits at 2.6 billion dollars.

    From Nine To Noon at 9:08 am on 05

    On RNZ National Programmee this morning.

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Tue 5th March 2013 @ 3:04 pm

  44. It is one thing to measure the failure of legislation by an amount of debt in one country.

    If you looked at the amount of migration from countries that have oppressive child-support regimes you would see a silent international rebellion against this type of oppressive legislation.

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 5th March 2013 @ 7:47 pm

  45. Down Under listen to the Radio NZ piece this morning.
    It was openly acknowledged that when the penalties regieme kicks in the only option was to flee NZ’s taxation system. The Auditor General made this point several years ago.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Tue 5th March 2013 @ 9:21 pm

  46. 42. Yes, but the admin review forms say that if you dont supply your financial statements (that are shared with the ex) then the Amin review crook lawyer is not obliged to take any other information you might supply into account.

    You are screwed.

    In my review the lawyer, Mark Miller, ignored the facts and made up his own. On this basis what is the point of taking information If provable facts can be ignored? Or even turning up? He told me during the phone call he was going to make me pay more. He then set my income at $150k and backdated it.

    Comment by Rogered — Tue 5th March 2013 @ 9:33 pm

  47. Is your income 150k? that’s just illegal. I’ve never had such a bad run with IRD and CS.
    Yes i was screwed and hate the IRD for life. I loathe the CS laws but this above statement of a lawyer doing that is just criminal.
    You have rights, I know it doesn’t seem like it but you do. Unless you are actually trying to hide something.
    Volentary agreements are the only saving grace in this system but even then you are confroming to arcahic laws. It’s just means no more admin reviews unless requested.

    Comment by Too Tired — Tue 5th March 2013 @ 10:19 pm

  48. I accept that Review Officers have wide discretion but they also need to conform to some rules and the scrutiny of the Principal Review Officer. Frankly I think it makes no sense to share information with your ex that makes you feel uncomfortable. Lots of people ask me for help with Admin Reviews after they have applied and spilled heaps of info on that stupid form. It makes it almost impossible then to construct a good and successful application after people have shot themselves in the foot with both barrels of a shotgun.
    It is extremely unusual for a review to place someone’s income over the threshold and while I have seen it, it has never happened to a member I have been assisting.
    The problem with Voluntary agreements is they are not worth the paper they are written on. If one party feels slightly annoyed with the other the voluntary agreement is in tatters as soon as the pen is pulled to ask for a formula assessment.
    Peter Dunne has been told lots of times he needs to provide protection for voluntary agreements or agreements in property settlements but he has consistently refused although his rhetoric says that such agreements should be encouraged.
    If voluntary agreements were even given 12 months at a time protection and parents were incentivised to go that way it would save IRD millions on compliance costs.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 12:15 am

  49. Dunne (Morning Report, 18.56 in) on the money the government says it is owed:

    A lot of that is I think going to be ultimately uncollectable and I think the point he makes is also correct that around a quarter of that is what is actually owing to the children.

    This is misleading. Child support money is not paid to the children, and there is no effort made to ensure that is would be spent on the children. And nothing was borrowed, so “owed” is the wrong word too.

    Ensuring it would be spent on the children sounds a bit intrusive. Could the government be so intrusive? Yes:

    There are two hundred and twenty odd thousand children who are dependent on child support and I just find it reprehensible frankly that any parent in that situation whatever their feelings might be towards their ex partner can penilize their children in the way that they are by avoiding their child support responsibilities. I think sadly too often this is a game of vengeance against the ex partner, not care for the children and what we’ve got to do both in New Zealand and with cases in Australia is make it – not just easier for people to meet their obligations, but also ramp up our enforcement hence the issue of deductions from pay packets, hence the changes that the bill brings in which gives the Commissioner of Inland Revenue greater ability to look through people’s various accounts to make sure they’re not sheltering income to reduce their liability.

    Sounds quite intrusive to me. But it’s all the fault of those fathers, so it’s OK.

    Then he repeats his misdirection:

    All of that is about benefiting the children.

    No, Mr Dunne, if it were about “benefiting the children” you’d make some attempt to check that the money was actually spent on them.

    The interviewer asked about the three-quarters of the sum “owing” that were penalties. What happens to them? Dunne (21.24):

    That goes into general revenue. So that helps run not just the system but it also helps run schools, hospitals, etc etc.

    Well that’s all right then! And it also pays Dunne’s salary, but he forgot to mention that.

    Comment by Ted — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 12:45 am

  50. There’s still no concrete time for the new policy right, I know it’s been said 2014, but who’s to say it’ll happen. It’s been left and deferred before. I already pay from my pay it doesn’t help I still get charges that I have to fight all the time. Late payment cause of a change in amount taking too long to set up with my employer. As IF I HAVE A SAY in how long it takes my employer to act on IRD’s request. I have repeatedly told them that I get paid fortnightly so it will take time. No one cares or listens.

    Comment by Too Tired — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 3:53 am

  51. Ok, so the penalties collected are not only sufficient to fund the child tax system there is extra left over for health and education.
    Reporter: So it’s those naughty men who were behind in their child support payments that funded Nova pay.

    Duune: Unfortunately there weren’t enough penalties being collected because too many naughty men have fled to Australia.

    Reporter: So that’s why the Government took the cheap option from Australia.

    Duune: Yes, if those naughty men were more responsible we wouldn’t have this problem.

    Reporter: Couldn’t we fund Health and Education from income tax instead of child tax?

    Duune: Of course not, where would we get the money to pay the DPB.

    Seriously, is this guy a f##king idiot or does he think we’re f##king idiots or both.

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 7:30 am

  52. 48. Nothing was hidden and I didn’t shoot myself in the foot. Mark Miller decided my potential earnings were $150k.

    He decided that it should be higher than the top capped amount (I think $126k or so).

    But his comments in the review are clearly false. I can show that. He took the mothers word and copied it into his response.

    But what can I do? I spoke to the IRD and they agreed it was wrong. But they had no suggestions to fix it. I have tried lawyers (goodbye $40k) and writing to Peter Dunne who re-iterated that he was making things better. But none of the changes address the admin review fiasco. Coming to an agreed amount wouldn’t work – the mother is actually very wealthy and it is for punitive reasons she asked for the review in the first place.

    I can see why they want these numbers high – they need to fund government services and what better way than through soft targets – and by using emotive language “best interests of the children”. Of course people would agree with that statement so whenever I mention it I get the response from people “Well you should pay” “What about the children” “You shouldn’t avoid your responsibilities” – and people don’t understand/want to understand the underlying issues.

    Comment by rogered — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 7:43 am

  53. I already pay from my pay it doesn’t help I still get charges that I have to fight all the time. Late payment cause of a change in amount taking too long to set up with my employer. As IF I HAVE A SAY in how long it takes my employer to act on IRD’s request. I have repeatedly told them that I get paid fortnightly so it will take time.

    This is the way the parasite feeds. It created the “debt” through its own procedures. If you try to address this – and this is the classic marker that shows that it is a parasite, as opposed to some other sort of predator – it misdirects attention away from what it is actually doing, and points to those poor children. In fact it doesn’t help the children one bit; probably harms them in fact.

    Comment by Ted — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 8:10 am

  54. Unfortunately there isn’t much to be gained writing to Dunne’s office apart from venting your spleen – why do you think he got the job as revenue (child-tax) minister.

    He’s known around parliament the as The Poodle or Misster Duune.

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 8:20 am

  55. Hi Rogered
    Sounds very like my experience. Mother admin reviewed me out of sheer spite. Will do so every year. She is infinitely better off than me, and can afford to take the kids overseas twice a year plus skiing. What confuses me is that the child support act refers to the requirement to take into account the incomes of both parents, but in the review i was told that her income was irrelevant. Recently had my son (who was working last year) return to school and to my full time care. The relief on my child support is $20 per month (for the other children). I am told that as i am still in the admin review period, i cannot change my living allowance to reflect that without a further admin review.
    I have written to Dunne, written to the commissioner and asked to meet with my local Mp. To date, none have responded to me. The other thing that i find interesting is that the maximum relief i will get is in the vicinity of $200-$300 per month yet she gets close to $700 per child. So where is the logic in that. I have a lower income, have the full time expense of a child, yet this 17 year old child is deemed to warrant only $200-$300 relief. Surely that is discrimination of the paying parent???

    Comment by shafted — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 9:16 am

  56. Anyone got an old tractor that will tow a trailer load of shit up the steps of parliament to protest child-tax.

    I know just the tractor worked for fart-tax but we might need to go one better.

    Preferable a tip trailer; then they really can call it Bullshit Castle.

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 10:51 am

  57. Shafted,

    Have you lodged an application for Child Tax for your son with the Poodles department?

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 10:58 am

  58. Not as yet. Waiting for a response from the admin review technical team. That is what they have told me to do in the first instance

    Comment by shafted — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 11:08 am

  59. @ Allan Harvey.

    If my ex and I are unable to come to a private agreement and she instigates another admin review I will be contacting you for advise BEFORE I fill in any paperwork or forms.

    Am I correct that I do not have to take part in the process at all? Would that be wise?

    Comment by Broke Father — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 12:56 pm

  60. The only way to shake any flexibility out of the formula assessment is by the Admin Review process. It is the first step and it is critically important to have done your homework and know the likely hood of success before you make application or response to an admin review. Getting advice before you apply or put pen to paper regarding a response is always the correct route.
    It is also possible to blackball (avoid) certain Ademin Review Officers who have poor reputations although IRD are attempting to make this more difficult.
    If an admin review does not go the way you seek then the next step to appeal that decision is the Family Court. I have had moderate success in the Family Court with such appeals. It is an orphan area of law as often the potential benefits of a successful result in the Court is less in one years Child Support than the cost of using a lawyer to represent you. That is why many of these case are taken (and won) by self-litigants with support.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 2:27 pm

  61. if the maximum child support taxable incomne is 130K or thereabouts why is the secind father in the article reviewed or assessed on 150k??

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 3:07 pm

  62. Administration is effectively a lower court and the Family Court is not bound by the child support cap in terms of child support decisions so one would presume then that the arena of administration is not either.

    I have never looked at the Act in that depth before. That raises a very interesting point and probably goes to the heart of the legislation; it was never about children, it was about benefit recovery and wealth distribution.

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 4:42 pm

  63. even if that were the case I.e “Family Court is not bound by the child support cap” the assessments are made by IRD.

    There are assessments made by IRD that have not been through Family Court. Are all assessments made ordered by Family court? or is IRD free to make the assessments without family court orders or intervention?

    Logic dictates IRD know there is a cap. if they are assessing on amounts exceeding the cap then they are breaking their own laws. this means they are criminals in the eyes of the law.

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 5:16 pm

  64. That’s not the way I see it. The IRD administer the Act and they employ independent contractors (lawyers) as administrators. The administrator being a person who is effectively an unofficial Judge in terms of how much child-tax a man should pay.

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 6:04 pm

  65. And of course Dunne-nothing is proud of a law that has no law about the administrators that administers the law.


    Comment by Down Under — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 6:26 pm

  66. the heart of the legislation; it was never about children, it was about benefit recovery and wealth distribution.

    This is plain from the language they use. The “liable” parent. They explicitly convert children into liabilities.

    Comment by Ted — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 6:44 pm

  67. So right Ted; in monarchical law one is a subject and in civil law one is subject to…

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 7:10 pm

  68. @ #64 but according to law if an organisation employs a contractor to do works for them, that contractor is considered as part of the organisation and is subject to adhere laws and policies of that organisation. If he fails then the organisation can fire the contractor, however in turn the organisation is guilty of the conduct of its employees. So in reality they are all subject to law but this has not been picked on by anyone and action taken against them. If the contractor does its own thing outside the policies of the oprganisation, then the organisation is guilty of not 1. training their emplyess and 2. not following their own policies…Hence IRD can be subject to legal action for violating their own laws.

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 7:34 pm

  69. Someone once said “this will bastardise the law” and here we are; no one knows the father of the law we are subject too. What a mess – feel free to sort it out.

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 7:52 pm

  70. Mark Miller, in his review, stated that while the upper limit was approx $126k there was no real reason he couldn’t find at a higher amount. Naturally this suggests to me that in the next review they could decide my potential income was more … Say $250k for example.

    He looked at the logos of clients from my website and decided that they looked like large clients and therefore my potential income should be 150k. It should be noted that this is higher than any income I have ever had except for one year, many years ago.

    Comment by Rogered — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 7:54 pm

  71. That is a hugely significant post.

    That tells us that the law is not about what can be exerted from you as an individual but what you can be made to exert from other people.

    In effect the human slave has become a drone.

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 8:20 pm

  72. #69.. it s about human honesty and morality. because we have lost this there is a mess. Gaining it back will be impossible if not improbable.

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Wed 6th March 2013 @ 8:52 pm

  73. Is it reported anywhere else in New Zealand except here on Menz?

    Subcontractor might be a bad choice of words – the administrator is more like an independent appointment and the outcome of the review is enforced by the revenue department. The review officer is temporarily made an officer of the state.

    Perhaps the more relevant questions should be,

    Is there an oath of office?
    Is there a code of conduct?
    Is there a complaints authority?
    Is there media access to decisions?

    That’s a significant event in Rogered’s comment that affects every male in New Zealand yet you have to come to this website to get an update on current affairs and that’s only available because other people take the time to post the information here in the first place.
    You could be right there kiranjiharr – I’ve think I just caught a whiff of penguin soup.

    Comment by Down Under — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 5:46 am

  74. Down Under
    The Admin Review process came about in 1991 and 1992 when the only place for a variation was the Family Court who were totally swamped by applications. Hence Review Officers have temporary status as “Judges”. They do enter into a contract which I have a copy of excluding their remuneration detrails and if you ask IRD they will supply this under OIA (Offical Information Act). There ios a principal Review Officer which is a bit like a complaints authority and IRD go to significant lengths to keep decisions private allowing them only to be shown to lawyers and they have offically stated that they are happy for me to continue to build up my small library of several hundred decisions.
    Child Support is quite a separate bunch within IRD, they originally moved there from Ministry of Social Welfare back in the day. I think all of the MSW employes have now passed to retirement. But thhere are aspects of that culture that remain in their procedures and ethos.
    Fore example They have a level of paranoia about their work and actively monitor this site and it’s postings and add 2 and 2 and occasionally get the wrong answer. Our webmaster has occasionally been threatened and asked for disclosure of contact details which he has handled very professionally.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 6:30 am

  75. Next we have Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver with an update on the financial thuggery happening right here in New Zealand.

    We cross live now to Barb – “Barb what you can tell us about these financial beatings dished out to men by contract judges who have been hiding evidence.”

    “I have just finished talking to the latest victim who I can only identify as Roger D.”

    “Sorry Barb, we didn’t catch that in the studio, did you say our latest victim has been rogered.”

    “No, well yes actually he has but we can only identify him as Roger D for fear of further reprisals from the agency.”

    “How serious is this Barb.”

    “Look, this man has taken an extreme financial beating that will affect him for the rest of his life. As we speak he is leaving New Zealand in the hope of finding a peaceful existence in another country.”

    “What made this financial beating particularly bad, Barb.”

    “Roger D was expected to pay child support on $150,000.00.”

    “Was that $50,000 Barb.”

    “No. $150,000 and he has never earned that much in his life. They are just pulling these figures out of thin air and hitting men over the head with them.”

    “Thanks Barb. That was our Pacific correspondent live from New Zealand reporting on the latest financial beatings and cover up of reports.”

    Comment by Down Under — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 8:24 am

  76. The truth is indeed scarier than fiction.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 1:23 pm

  77. as alan confirmed, the sub contractor/ administrators are employed by IRD and are hence bound to act within their policies, not make things up as they go.

    If they are doing that and IRD has been letting them do it (as is always the case) then its not only an employee misconduct but violation by IRD of their own policies and legal legislation.

    to date the very first thing that IRD have violated is the objective of “for the benefit of the children” and 2 lowering the standard of living of the liable parent. both these are found in their policies which they have violated repeatedly and scrupulously without fear of legal retribution. I believe we all have a strong case here.

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 7:00 pm

  78. not to mention going and taxing above the maximum threshold of salary. do be aware that the maximu they can tax on gross pay is 40% of every tax combined (child support included). check and evaluate if you fall outside this limit. if you do then again a violation has occurred.

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 7:03 pm

  79. Yes, it’s nice to say that the ird and their review officers have broken the law. But, sadly, there is nothing you can do. Trust me. I got lawyers that said I might get a review changed. But there will be another next year, and the year after.

    Peter Dunne responded by ignoring the issue. Ird tell me Mr Mark Miller has had heaps of complaints. But there he is … Still at it. I would say he is probably their star and is well regarded since he is meeting targets.

    There is absolutely nothing that can be done. Unless we are all missing something.

    Comment by Rogered — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 7:15 pm

  80. #79 Rogered read post 60 above
    #78 kiranjiharr I don’t know where you got that nonsense from that only up to 40% of gross income can be taxed.
    Top tax rate is currently 33% plus ACC 1.7% plus Child Support at top rate 30% plus student laon 12% fropm 1 April. Adds up to 69.7% and thats before any late penalties or interest.
    Some taxpayers see only 30% of their gross then thay spend a further 15% GST on that (that’s equivalent to another 4% on their gross).
    Child Support payers are the biggest taxpayers in the country percentage wise, some at 73% to Peter Dunne and just 27% for themselves and to be assured that their children receive something.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 7:46 pm

  81. Alan
    why don’t you enlighten me what is the current maximum tax threshold then i.e Maximum % IRD can tax on salary?

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 7:54 pm

  82. As I understand it it is as I describe above (about 73.4% of last dollar). There is a no declaration rate that is 12% more than that but it is just a bully boy tactic to get people to confirm but I suppose technically it is 85% if you include that.
    Scrap once told me that under WINZ rules there is a maximum deduction rate so that benificaries get a few crumbs even if there is heaps of debt about to be repaid but I have forgotten that conversation as it was long ago and applies to just beneficaries (I think).

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 8:17 pm

  83. I’m sorry it has been a long day
    33 + 1.7 + 30 + 12 = 76.7%
    Plus GST on that is another 3.5%
    Gives a top tax rate and Child Support on 4 plus children of 80.2%
    Then add the no declaration penalty of 12% give 92.2% maximum tax rate. Not much incentive left for the taxpayer.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 8:34 pm

  84. On the flip side of being a heavily taxed paying parent there are those that get given 100% tax money to live on. And there in lies the balance NZ finds for our welfare state.

    My ex-(crement) is currently on four sources of income, five if you count her Dead beat husbands, so lets count them.

    1x benefit ah,ah,ah (Studant Allowance) $170.80 pwk
    2x benefit ah,ah,ah (Child Support) $177.10 pwk
    3x Benefit ah,ah,ah (Family Tax) $214.00 pwk
    4x benefit ah ah ah (partners S.A) $170.80 pwk

    and she just started work, 10 or so hours minimum wage.
    and they live in housing nz house so tiny rent anyone?

    But she can afford to get married in Janurary and not afford the kids back to school costs Feburary. Also can afford the school bus and after school care ( more subsidies ) but not the school camp, no subsidy 🙁
    It’s ok though the kids get karate, piano lessons and soccer.
    So when we are poor we ask for a admin review to extort more money from the paying parent who works to earn his one income. (No Benefits).

    Comment by Too Tired — Thu 7th March 2013 @ 10:39 pm

  85. kiranjiharr says:

    not to mention going and taxing above the maximum threshold of salary. do be aware that the maximu they can tax on gross pay is 40% of every tax combined (child support included). check and evaluate if you fall outside this limit. if you do then again a violation has occurred.

    Could you be referring to the maximum ammount of deductions which is 40% of your net wages that can be taken in child support fines, arrears etc.

    That doesn’t stop a child support debt accumulating or your deduction amount being greater than the amount being deducted.

    Comment by Down Under — Fri 8th March 2013 @ 6:19 am

  86. too tired.
    Mine has Income-$100,000
    Child support- $2100 *12=$25200 tax free
    Flat rental $15,000
    Company car and free petrol
    My son recently returned to live with me. I get an allowance of $20 per month for that because i am in “the admin review period”
    She wants to further admin review me for braces for my daughter.
    This year she is taking the kids overseas twice and going skiing
    My car is unregistered and unwarranted-go figure

    Comment by shafted — Fri 8th March 2013 @ 12:24 pm

  87. The system is rigged, its designed to be difficult, costly and impossible to challenge – admin reviews – what a joke, everyone who has ever had the misfortune of being subjected to one of these will revolt at a 1000 miles an hour = unless you willingly roll over and let them just give you one up the A.H.

    so why argue about it, ranting and raving on here is NOT going to change this – things need a dramatic shake up,……….start making politicians aware of what is actually happening – some of them – who are parents may actually take our side and understand……

    You really need to understand that this excessive CS Debt and the inflated Penalty regime is a game – these inflated CS Debts – allowed to balloon up as high as possible – why??? so Govt can BORROW more money against it. Kiwi Saver – over a million suckered into that one, Student Loans, Over $450 Billion outstanding – this is the only reason they set these schemes up = ponzi schemes so govt can borrow against them – the harsh reality of CS, and how GOOD PARENTS are being FKed over is because we are just another group of people who can be tapped to support excessive borrowing.

    perhaps if parents and CS Debts were NOT ALLOWED to be used by Govt to borrow Money internationally, we would see a drastic change in the way the system is run……….

    Currently – thats about the limit of this govt’s innovations in how t raise new capital – screw the parents.

    So the CS debt is forecast to rise to $7B – this is NO surprise – why would anyone actively look to decrease this, or make it easier on parents, when they can borrow against it – no the penalty regime will get worse, they will look to take more from BOTH parents and anyone else associated with the child – the higher the debt the better it is for these idiots running the country. Do you get it………

    Comment by hornet — Mon 11th March 2013 @ 12:40 pm

  88. Oh yes i get it-right up the Jacksey-every month in life.
    I have writen to commissione of inland revenue, Peter Dunne, and my local MP. The latter’s office lady replied and was going to come back to me. The former 2 have not.
    Don’t even know why we bother. You can’t beat it

    Comment by shafted — Mon 11th March 2013 @ 2:06 pm

  89. I’m a “liable parent” thankfully getting close to the end of my 16 year constant battle with IRD-CS. I came to this site to see if there was any support or advice on how to deal with a CS arrears debt which has snowballed from $3500 in 2010 to $9700 in 2013 with penalties etc. Even though I have had a repayment arrangement in place for 18 months. The nuts and bolts of it is – while I admit to a debt I just don’t agree with their 300% increase and how they got the figure. I have tried demanding my account be reviewed by their in house accountant/auditor but got nowhere.(Several years ago I demanded a similar review which took their technical expert 2 weeks to unravel but vindicated my complaint) Doesn’t seem that option is available any more. Any Ideas?
    Tips I would like to pass on to “noob liables”:-
    1.If you have an issue that the customer rep obviously hasn’t a clue about (and that’s most of them). Then hang up and ring again. You use the call back option so as not to spend half an hour waiting on the phone. Each time you ring you’ll get a different rep and a different story and sometimes learn a bit more about how the system works.
    Every now and again you get a rep who knows some of what they are talking about and is receptive to your complaint.
    2. DO get “shitty” don’t be shy about being rude if they patronise you. If they hang up don’t worry there’s plenty more reps, so ring again. CS call centres are all over NZ and your call goes to which ever one isn’t on a call. I’ve used this tip a lot and its helped regularly and is also a good way of venting your frustration at their ineptitude.
    3. Remember CS is a branch of IRD that doesn’t currently record phone calls.
    4. IMPORTANT – Write down the phone times, date and call takers name and make notes on the back of your latest statement.
    5. Not convinced with what you are told? DEMAND to speak to a team leader/supervisor they generally know more and get nasty quicker when you get ‘shitty” but you ARE entitled to speak to one.
    6. Keep your assessments, reassessments, agreements, statements.
    7. They are supposed to keep written (electronic) notes of all calls you make with times and details etc.
    8. They WILL lie and abuse their own system when it suits them.
    9. As far as I can tell there isn’t anything you can do about “8” except trying the get “shitty” technique, sometimes they back down and what have you got to lose?
    10.You ARE entitled to negotiate your weekly arrears repayment amount but usually no less than $10 week. You have to stand your ground on this and “phonecall bomb” them until someone human listens.Have some good financial reasons why you can’t pay more.
    11.Be cautious with admin reviews I haven’t met a liable that’s won one yet. I believe they (IRD) walk all over our rights the privacy laws with their requirements and criteria.
    12.Can’t understand the monthly statement? Don’t worry no one can including most of the CS reps and (its the “new” easier to follow version believe it or not!)
    13.If you have those “this cant be happening to me”, “I don’t know who to turn to for help”, “I’m on my own” feelings, you are correct and you are, I’m sorry to say.
    14.Have a “thankchristCSisoffmyback” party when your kid passes 19 years (current liable age)soon reverting to 18 again, though I think?

    Comment by Tim Wallace — Mon 11th March 2013 @ 11:38 pm

  90. this will be an interesting case :

    based on ” The appeal has alarmed the federal Attorney-General for its potential to affect thousands of other such agreements if it stands on constitutional grounds or on the basis that the legislation is weak”.

    Cos if that legislation is weak then so is CSA as it does not ensure that child poverty is alleviated nor that CS is used for the benefit for the child.

    All it does is collect.

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Fri 22nd March 2013 @ 7:43 pm

  91. Prenups, Most are not worth the paper they are written on.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Sat 23rd March 2013 @ 12:25 pm

  92. Let’s not put it past IRD to ‘share’information with Statistics, and start marrying up your Census returns to your Admin Reviews …

    Comment by Peter - I Just Got Dunne — Sat 23rd March 2013 @ 5:41 pm

  93. Child Support are reluctant enough to share information with the rest of IRD let alone any other department. Information of gross tax evasion and abuse to Review Officers has resulted in zero action from what I am informed.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Sat 23rd March 2013 @ 8:18 pm

  94. When they realise they can find more out about the paying father; more evidence of his ability to pay more CS-tax, then they’ll change the laws to enable them to grab and match census data ….

    Comment by Black Pete — Sat 23rd March 2013 @ 8:53 pm

  95. Pete,
    I personally think you have the wrong end of the stick.
    IRD don’t care about how much Child Support they get. Many Admin Review officers are completely blase about the taxpayer when it comes to recovering DPB payments.
    I have a case where DPB parent received minimum only from mum despite the fact she had a proven income of 147k.
    Child Support staff often do have an over worked sense of Child Support being good for kids but most of them are not stupid and they realise there are zero controls on how money is spent. They are just doing a job but they get jaundiced with it being male voice must be a paying parent, female voice must be a custodial parent. They also can’t cope with language changes (and IRD don’t support them to be more PC), for example in their minds there are just CPs and NCPs and shared care is just a complication and the concept of 2 CPs does not work in their acronyms and world of easy labels. Unfortunately it is all too hard for Mr Dunne as well and while he sees himself as kicking Child Support and IRD into the “modern era” but he is pretty stuck in the 20th century himself. He has learnt to play MMP pretty well but on lots of issues his politics is pretty conservative and reflects his age.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Sat 23rd March 2013 @ 9:30 pm

  96. @Allan

    IRD don’t care about how much Child Support they get. Many Admin Review officers are completely blase about the taxpayer when it comes to recovering DPB payments.

    The IRD do care about recovering child support benefit recovery, and admin review officers are not blasé about the taxpayers, they are deliberately gender biased and discriminatory in their decisions.

    You are starting to sound like a paid apologist.

    Comment by Down Under — Sun 24th March 2013 @ 7:22 am

  97. Hi Down Under,
    I’m happy to be paid but I call a spade a spade.
    I have for years kept statistics and checked stories about Child Support. Other than basic prejudice at the sound of people’s voices and stupid assumptions they make based on gender I have not found bias in Child Support.
    What is your basis for claiming this? They are applying the legislation and the IRDs internal policies. This does need some review but that is different from your suggestion of deliberate bias and prejudice from review officers and IRD Child Support staff.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Sun 24th March 2013 @ 7:58 am

  98. There is little distinction in the common man’s eyes between legislation and IRD’s internal policies and that these may or may not be gender biased, and the Child Support teams enacting them.
    True, legislation and internal policies may not be gender-specific, but they assume an inherent biasedness because they overwhelmingly affect … men.
    This is no different to police removing men from a home where domestic violence is alleged, even though police are ‘only doing their job’, and ‘following policy’. Although in police’s case, I understand their internal policy explicitly instructs them to remove men. Frontline police are not responsible for the policy and therefore appear to the common man to be gender biased.

    Comment by OMG You're *&^($^% — Sun 24th March 2013 @ 9:15 am

  99. @ 97..
    applying legislation and policies based on ??…..

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Tue 2nd April 2013 @ 3:25 pm

  100. Kiranjiharr,
    Legislation in this case is the Child Support Act 1991 and it’s various amendments and internal polices of IRD are just that internal policies.

    Child Support is a bit like Alice in Wonderland,

    “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Tue 2nd April 2013 @ 4:17 pm

  101. so as you said application of legislation and internal policies based on personal prejudices. Why do we accept that?

    Comment by kiranjiharr — Tue 2nd April 2013 @ 5:12 pm

  102. That may be the case for some review officers, but then again it may explain why Mark Miller is no longer a review officer. For IRD staff and Court staff and Judges there are very set procedures, legislation, precedient and guidelines. There is almost no room for personal prejudices or bending of rules.
    I accept that as it is the reality withing which I work to assist people. Personally I think it is a foolish pipe dream to encourage people to push the proverbial uphil and this I’m blunt in my assessments of what is possible and how people can act with chances of success.

    Comment by allan harvey — Tue 2nd April 2013 @ 7:47 pm

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