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Another IRD Child Support Rip Off!!!!

Filed under: Child Support,Law & Courts — Had_Enough @ 11:52 am Sat 28th November 2015

Hi All,
I have now seen the ultimate in stupidity and unfairness from IRD CS. I’ve been paying CS for 13 years now and thought I had seen everything but this takes the cake!! I am a Kiwi residing in Australia. I pay my Child Support to the CSA who collect on behalf of the IRD CS. It is calculated in Aussie dollars so if the AUD buys $1.10c Kiwi I would pay the adjusted amount; for example if I earned $100,000 AUD that becomes $110,000 NZD and I am assessed on that rate. That doesn’t worry me too much although the IRD’s failure to take into account the cost of living over here pisses me off but I’m not expecting fairness from IRD CS.
Anyway here’s my point- IRD CS in their wisdom have decided that since the 2 currencies were almost at parity on the 1st of April (the irony of the date always amuses me) that means that if I was assessed at paying, for example $1500 NZD per month that would equate to $1500 AUD per month. So using my example the Australian CSA have me assessed at $1500 AUD per month. Now that would be fine if they also assessed my AUD earnings as being the same in NZ dollars. I would have been very happy with such a scenario but NO, they are still calculating my Australian earnings as being 10% higher than the NZD so $100,000 becomes $110,000. Surely they can’t have it both ways!! So now, when I calculate my earnings on the Child Support calculator I get the assessment amount I would expect once the $ difference is allowed for. That’s the figure that appears on my Online IRD CS assessment but I also have this other magical figure that the IRD CS and CSA have agreed on that actually increases my liability by approximately $200 per month. So, I am actually paying for the difference in the Exchange rate twice. Once for the difference in my actual earnings when allowing for the Exchange rate + a second time due to the fact that the assessed rate was based on the fact that the $s were at parity on April 1st even though the AUD is now 10% higher in value. They say that they will not review this because that’s just the way it is. Does anyone know a good NZ based lawyer I could deal with who can help me because this is bullshit!!



  1. You have been paying CS for 13 years . . . do you still get access to your children?

    Comment by sharingiscaring — Sat 28th November 2015 @ 1:51 pm

  2. Would it be best for you to pay what is fair according to your calculations and let the IRD try to sue if they consider what you pay to be incorrect? Let IRD take the matter to court and let them prove what you are paying is incorrect.
    Just an idea.

    Comment by Andrew McCarthy — Sat 28th November 2015 @ 4:04 pm

  3. I don’t get any access to my daughter at all due to the mother of my kids defying numerous parenting orders with impunity. She was allowed to take her to Canada without providing me with any contact details at all. Andrew I may do as you suggest. The amount I am required to pay now would prevent me from paying my mortgage and basic living costs. None of the money gets to my daughter anyway because her mother spends it on alcohol and my daughter ends up living a very deprived existence. Makes me very angry.

    Comment by Had_Enough — Sat 28th November 2015 @ 4:14 pm

  4. Andrew McCarthy (#2): No, IRD won’t sue but will simply rack up interest and penalties on the amount they have decided on. They will take money straight from a man’s salary or plunder his bank accounts, and I assume they can get the Australian authorities to do the same. Also, if a man enters NZ owing so-called ‘child support’ he can be arrested at the border and be subjected to aggravated robbery by officials.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Sun 29th November 2015 @ 7:00 am

  5. Or perhaps the robbery is better compared to ‘demand with menaces’

    Comment by Man X Norton — Sun 29th November 2015 @ 7:02 am

  6. To add to what Man X Norton said, they may not sue, but may seize assets, for the amount owing.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 29th November 2015 @ 11:31 am

  7. It’s not hard to see how divorce laws started a civil war in Rome.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 29th November 2015 @ 11:35 am

  8. The big problem I have is PAYE (or PAYG as they call it here) income. The bastards will just take it from my employer on payday. The net result of this would be the bank foreclosing on my mortgage as I won’t have sufficient funds to pay it. My advice to anyone who has recently started paying Child Support is to start your own business and get a good accountant. IRD CS and CSA aren’t very smart people and rely on PAYE earners or self employed people who haven’t earned the art of creative accounting. In my case, I’m basically fucked!

    Comment by Had_Enough — Sun 29th November 2015 @ 12:44 pm

  9. If IRD says that’s the way it is, then there must be a documented process. Suggest you ask for this, specifically requesting the legislative basis for the process, the procedure itself the detail of the relevant calculation and the source of each component of the calculation, with specific detail of how exchange rates are calculated. This is general information. But you could also request details of your specific calculation, with source information for each field.

    There are quite a few child support official information requests posted on, and you might consider submitting the general part of your request from that site. People including journalists do monitor responses.

    You could do this in parallel to any other action you take. Suggest also write to Todd McLay, the minister of revenue.

    There are others on this site with a better idea of whether an administrative review would be helpful in your situation, especially if there are issues with the data or process.

    Comment by Ade — Sun 29th November 2015 @ 5:26 pm

  10. Hi Ade, I know how they calculated the figure. They looked at the Exchange rates on April 1st and decided they were at parity so calculated my liability based on that. That would have been fine if they had also decided that my 2014 – 2015 income was also calculated as being at parity dollar wise but they didn’t do this. Instead they have locked in the AUD and NZD exchange rate as on April 1st which was almost at parity. This very rarely happens and the AUD is normally at least 10% higher than the NZD. So, the dollar values are now back to normal (well normal for the past 2 years anyway) with the AUD being 10% higher than the NZD. The whole thing is out of whack because the 10% differential doesn’t reflect my actual income when I calculate Aussie wage in NZD and then calculate my liability on the CS calculator. When I do this I end up with a figure that would have me paying about $200 NZD per month less than what they want me to pay. Apparently there is a mystical CPI figure that’s also added into the calculation. I have no idea how this figure is derived since I live in Australia and my daughter and her mother live in Canada. The numbers don’t add up but thanks for the tip on the FYI site, I’ll take a look. I’m also wondering if I should raise it with the IRD ombudsman.

    Comment by Had_Enough — Sun 29th November 2015 @ 8:44 pm

  11. Yes I realise you know more or less how IRD came to the number. I was suggesting that you require them to specify their procedure and its legislative base. To make sure they can in fact do what they did. Also if there are grounds to request a review based on changed circs (specifically exchange rate in this case). Could also ask about CPI in your circs though probably won’t get far with that.

    Thing is it is easy and free to get the info, and they have to respond in a timeframe. You just need to be sure you have framed your request carefully as they will only answer what you asked. Once you have the info you can see if there is reason to go to the Ombudsman. normally if IRD has acted incorrectly in your view, or if they did not provide the info requested.

    Comment by Ade — Mon 30th November 2015 @ 4:56 am

  12. Hi Ade, yes I agree. I am going through the process at the moment. Basically I have been fobbed off by the legislation quoting automaton who answered my IRD CS phone call. I fully expected that because those poor IRD CS Customer Service reps are expected to deal with legislation that even the IRD doesn’t understand let alone the reps. So, today I filled out a IRD online complaint form stating my concerns. So, they will either fob me off or may even surprise me and do something useful. If they fob me off I’ll go to the ombudsman. I’ll let you know if this gets me anywhere. Thanks for your suggestions Ade.

    Comment by Had_Enough — Mon 30th November 2015 @ 9:47 pm

  13. Hi,

    I’m in a similar boat as you. Yesterday I decided to ask my New Zealand MP for help. I’ve been living out of New Zealand for nearly 20 years, but returned at Christmas last year and obtained a court order and warrants to enforce contact with my Children in New Zealand.

    Despite being out of New Zealand, if a NZ citizen returns for a length of time (I think it’s ten days), you can use the NZ address you stayed at as your electrol address. You can register online, even from outside NZ. Which I did about 4 months after returning from NZ. After about a week, I received email confirmation that I was enrolled, and I wrote to my NZ MP. Here’s what I asked regarding IRD:

    Mr [Removed]

    Mr [Removed]
    MP For [Removed]
    Via email: [Removed]


    Dear Mr [Removed],

    I am writing to you, my MP for [Removed], and asking for your assistance in matters relating to the abduction of my children to New Zealand. I understand, your predecessor, [Removed], was instrumental in aiding my estranged wife to remove our children from [Removed], to New Zealand, hence, my writing to you.

    I would be most grateful for any assistance you can provide, to facilitate and expedite these matters, so that my children can have meaningful contact with me and their family. Currently I am in the [Removed], and also live in [Removed]. I am currently registered to vote in the [Removed]. I will be travelling to New Zealand on[Removed], so that the children can spend that time with me, and the rest of their family in the [Removed]. Further, I do expect to not be hindered in leaving New Zealand so that I may resume my work in the [Removed].


    New Zealand Inland Revenue
    I was contacted by NZ Inland Revenue in October 2014 via my former employer. I was shocked at their demands:
    · In excess of $500,000 in child support back payments and penalties.
    · Assessed my income at $132,000.
    · Demanded a further $40,000 in student loan repayments, interest and penalties.

    I did have some telephone calls with them to have this sorted out.

    The bulk of the money penalties on money that was never to be collected by IRD. They have acknowledged this, and removed the amount of $40,000, however they have not waived the $500,000 of penalties.

    Further, I provided details of my income for three years and copies of my current pay slips. My earnings are around $2,000 per month, and IRD are claiming still demanding I pay more than I earn.

    I repaid my student loan in 1998, prior to leaving New Zealand. The total loan amount was around $12,000.

    I have not heard anything from the NZ IRD since February 2015.

    I understand that new laws are in place to arrest people at the border whom IRD think owe them money. This will severely impede my ability to see my children, and return to the UK for work at the end of my visit. The only money owing is current child support, which is around $1,000. I have made arrangements to borrow money from family, and pay up until April 2016. However, I won’t make any payment until these matters have been resolved. I will also be asking for a review, due to the expense I have to go to in order to have contact and access with my children.

    I am asking for your assistance in these matters and reassurance that they will in no way impede my ability to have my children, nor impede me on returning to [country].


    I attached copies of the IRD documents to the email.

    I received an acknowledgement a few hours after sending that his staff were looking into these matters. I’ll let you know how I get on over the next few days.

    Comment by Not my real name — Mon 30th November 2015 @ 9:48 pm

  14. Hi, Not my real name. Wow that’s some arrears penalty bill they’ve dumped on you. It will be interesting to see what your MP can do. I approached Murray McCullay many years ago to see if he could convince IRD CS to stop taxing me so highly because I couldn’t afford to feed the two children in my custody. He made sympathetic noises but did nothing. But if they’re refusing to remit penalties, that goes against their policies. They are supposed to remit most of the 10% and 2% penalties if you pay off the outstanding debt in a lump sum or payment plan so your MP may have some solid legal ground to work on. My CS arrears have been exacerbated by IRD and CSA stuff ups which I’m trying to sort out with IRD at the moment.For example they seem to have stuffed the amount I was supposed to pay the last 12 months. I gave them copies of my tax returns as well pay slips showing them my earnings for the previous year. The IRD and CSA then derived a total that was basically liability + arrears installments and I was led to believe I was paying the right amount and this was reflected in all my CS statements. Then a week ago large sums of money started appearing in the DR column. About $500 per month where there had previously been zeros and this goes back about 18 months. So now I’ve got arrears on top of my arrears and until a week ago I thought I must have paid off at least $13,000 worth of arrears. It’s such a freakin mess that I doubt if anyone in IRD CS or the CSA can understand it and their stance is that I have to pay it and they have raised the liability + debt amount to such a high level that it will be a choice between paying my mortgage and paying Child Support debt. The CSA lady I spoke to told me that Child Support comes before my mortgage from their point of view and I’m sure they would be quite happy to see me in a tent eating grass!! Compassionate lot they are.

    Comment by Had_Enough — Tue 1st December 2015 @ 1:21 am

  15. Call it what it is.

    These mafia tactics are illegal in the real world.

    This is financial terrorism of New Zealand citizens by our own revenue department.

    This is the sort of behaviour you’d expect from ISIS, not from a supposedly civilised country – oh that’s right, I forgot we had descended to the level of Banana Republic.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 1st December 2015 @ 8:22 am

  16. @Had_Enough – I went through a review and got told to sell my house, so yep, definitely no compassion or even common sense

    Comment by BF1972 — Tue 1st December 2015 @ 6:48 pm

  17. Hi,

    Am gobsmacked after receiving an expeditious fob off from my MP and a weblink to GST!

    Assistance- Custody/IRD

    [Removed]; Mon 30/11/2015 22:09
    Hi [Removed]

    Thank you for contacting [Removed] asking for assistance in regard to issues you are having with the Family Court and IRD.
    The assistance you request in regard to seeking custody and access to your children is a matter for the Family Court and it therefore would be inappropriate for Alastair to intervene in any way.
    In regard to the IRD payments I suggest you seek the assistance of a lawyer, the process for disputing an assessment is

    Kind regards

    Comment by Not my real name — Tue 1st December 2015 @ 9:23 pm

  18. No MP is ever going to do anything about child support.

    They know this is what pays their wages.

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 2nd December 2015 @ 7:07 pm

  19. Not only that mate did you kno that csa with holds the money for a month an sends it to Nzcs following that you will always get late penalty fees because of it and csa picks up the intrest aye money for jam for both governments

    Comment by toki broughton — Wed 12th October 2016 @ 8:28 pm

  20. Skip Child Support. Go to Jail. Lose Job. Repeat. New York Times USA

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Tue 30th October 2018 @ 7:47 am


    Comment by mama — Tue 30th October 2018 @ 9:21 am

  22. HI-my 16 year old daughter has moved to australia and is staying with her grandmother until her mother gets there in early April .
    I will be assessed under Australian child support legislation. I woudl liek to ask any other kiwis in the same position how they handled exchange risk and payment. Secondly, i understand that there will be a delay to the mother in receiving monies from the Australians as it takes time to get the thing switched over. What is your advice surrounding managing this switch-over?
    Finally, i note that the Australians treat company cars and fringe benefits as income for child support purposes. Do you think i could ask them to assess the fringe benefits she earned here in the Aussie assessment. She is obviously changing jobs there and wilk not get fringe benefits like she did here. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated

    Comment by Alan — Tue 10th March 2020 @ 10:45 am

  23. Forgive me if am wrong…
    if a child of 16 is legally independant,
    What right does anyone have to impose child support for that child?
    Is it one of those things that slips through the cracks?
    18 to drink and vote but at 16 a child is legally mature enough “to tell her parents where she wants to live. or to engage in adult relationships”
    Does freedom not equate with resposability and accountability?
    And a child definition does not seem to include anyone over 16.

    Comment by JustCurious — Tue 10th March 2020 @ 1:24 pm

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