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Administrative Review – Grounds 8 Capacity to Earn

Filed under: General — @@@ @ 8:20 pm Thu 16th June 2016

We have an administrative review next week and I was looking for some information/case file evidence if anyone can help? The review is under Ground 8 and based on “Capacity to Earn” instead of true financial earnings. Has anyone had any experience with this in the past and would you mind sharing the situation and outcome? The more prepared we are before we go in the better I feel! I really don’t trust admin reviews and have had them turn ugly in the past. Any support, guidance or past experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

16 Responses to “Administrative Review – Grounds 8 Capacity to Earn”

  1. Allan Harvey says:

    The problem most have with Administrative Reviews is they apply first and state their position badly to IRD so the review officer applies the principles as determined by Court precedents and most get turned down.
    A much smarter approach is to ask for help and advice first. Draft your application to the principles and precedents that support your position and submit that to IRD for the of their review officer.
    About 75% of those who ask me for advice have already shot their own case in the foot with information they have provided to IRD.
    It may be sensible to withdraw your application and rethink what you apply for at a later date. IRD allow one review a year on each ground. Do you really want to waste your opourtunity with a half baked application?
    To be successful under ground 8 you need to show that the other party has a higher capacity to earn and document evidence for that claim. Many assume they can use it to justify a lower income figure for themselves due to changed circumstances. That is better done by an estimation of income and the fall in income needs to be greater than 15% which is quite a significant change in both income and lifestyle.

  2. Man X Norton says:

    Allan, I suspect @@@ @ is on the respondent end of this application under ground 8. Ground 8 must be the most widely abused one by both applicants and review officers. Ground 8 allows the IRD to decide that a father (almost always a father) could be earning more than he actually does so his so-called ‘child support’ is ramped up accordingly. It would be interesting to know about successful strategies for ‘liable’ parents to shut down applications under ground 8.

  3. A dad says:

    From my experiences (I’ve won 2 admin reviews under ground 8), the evidence must be provided at the time of the application. The reviewer will ask questions based on the evidence you’ve given and of course what they have obtained from your tax records. However? Im not sure if that is all your tax records or just your child support.
    You have to remove all emotion from your case as to what is fair. They are looking at your case purely on the interpretation of the law. So if you can argue that you work the hours that you do because of family commitments for example then they may take that into consideration. The same applies for the other party. In my 1st review the reviewer agreed that my ex could work more hours than she was but decided not to allow fully time work, just somewhere nearer. Perhaps it was better to soften the blow to my ex.

  4. Working mum says:

    My ex has not worked for over 2 years, does not declare an income or is paid a benefit. He has taken “time out” to do other things and I expect living off the settlement for the house I paid. Because he has no income and the assessment is on income I end up paying despite having our daughter 50/50. I don’t get it. He is more than capable of working and just because he chooses not to shouldn’t mean I foot the bill. I have sought a review so not sure what to expect.

  5. too tired says:

    to Working Mum,

    My ex hasn’t worked in seven years so does that mean I can stop paying child support? The system doesn’t work for you, it’s against you! You will never change the rules to suit your situation, they don’t care!.

    like all men everywhere you have to suck it up.

  6. Voices back from the bush says:

    The united nations delegate for gender equality- wonder woman, has been fired this month after 2 months in the role.
    What will we do for equality now, Robin?

  7. A dad says:

    Working mum.
    You can apply for an admin review on grounds of the other parents ability to work. Eg, they may not be working but have the ability and choose not to. My ex did exactly this and then worked part time. I didnt know aboit the admin reviews until she tried some really nasty stuff and then i had to study the law and find out what i was able to do.
    Lawyes are useless. They dont know much about child support and are obly thinking about their hourly rate when it comes to family court and the childrens best interests. For IRD admon reviews just check the IRD website.
    However, and this is the moral ground. Do you think that as you both have 50% of your childs time you both shouldnt NEED to pay any child support to each other? You’ve split the relationship property and now you can work to make life for you and your daughter easier. If you can both agree to share the school/after school costs then that would be the most fair. solution. Child support in its current form just pisses everyone off as it isnt a fair system.

  8. Marcell says:

    Hi Alan,
    You’ve given me advice in the past that was so insightful and absolutely spot on – thank you!

    Like others, I am considering ground 8 – where ex has (stated in writing) has limited hours and type of work from previously professional to gardening/cleaning.

    Is it worth applying in your view?


  9. allan harvey says:

    Kia ora Marcell. It all depends on the situation.
    Whether it is worth applying depends on the facts of the case and the situation for the child(ren) and what is best for them.
    Some parents need to reduce stress levels etc for the sake of their health. What review officers and the Court say is that you need to demonstrate on balance of probability that this change has been made with the intent of reducing Child Support.

  10. Downunder says:

    Allan, what happens when one parent reduces child support in order to ensure it is actually spent on the child, especially in the case of addiction?

  11. allan harvey says:

    Kia ora Downunder,
    If Child Support is happening via IRD the “reducing” CS below the assessed amount means 10% penalty on the default portion (in 2 stages) and then 2% penalty interest per month (compounding). Works out like loaning money from the mafia (except they probably charge less). IRD interest rate for default works out to be about 38% in the first year and 27% subsequent years.
    If it is a private arrangement and one parent reduces without agreement from the other it probably just signals the start of a Child Support application via IRD being made.
    IRD are not concerned how much of the CS transferred by the paying parent to the receiving parent is invested in meth, pissed against a wall (can women do that?), turns into ash, supports the local brothel or contributes to pokey machine “profits” and props up Kidz Need Dadz in a strange round about route.

  12. Ministry of Men's Affairs says:

    Good answer Allan, which makes it clear that our so-called ‘child support’ system lacks any real basis concerning the interests or welfare of children. Introducing ‘the best interests of children’ as a primary principle on which CS decisions are made may be worth agitating for, as long as that principle is defined sufficiently to avoid the corruption of it we have seen in the FC.

  13. allan harvey says:

    Child Support Act says nothing about best interests of children. It is a revenue act for tax collection and ensuring compliance. IRD would throw up their hands in horror at the needs to think or make decisions based outside formulas. They are not good at focusing on real issues.

  14. mumofone says:

    Hi I’m wondering if you can give any advice (even though I’m a woman)

    I just had a phone call from IRD saying that my daughter’s father has applied for an admin review under grounds 3 and 8, they asked if I wanted to take part in the review.

    I said no. My situation is still exactly the same, I’m still working at the same job, same hours (full-time) as I always have. And to be honest I just can’t be bothered with the paperwork. Have I just shot myself in the foot though?

    TBH I don’t know why he is bothering, she turns 18 in less than 3 months so I thought child support stops then anyway?

    The lady from IRD said that he was trying to argue that he has less income because he’s working fewer hours now? But would this even be a valid argument as it’s his choice to reduce his hours?

  15. allan harvey says:

    Kia ora Mumofone,

    Even though I am a man I don’t mind sharing information.
    As you say Child Support ends at the end of the year when a child turns 18 or they start full time work earlier.
    Ground 3 is about supporting the CS payer themselves.
    Ground 8 is about his, your or the child’s income & resources.

    If someone’s income falls to 85%, or less than, the assessment income they can apply for an estimation of full year income. That is the normal way to deal with a reduction in income.

    I do suggest that you ask to see his application for admin review so there are no surprises for you. The Admin Review team can be contacted on 0800 221 221.
    Ring them and ask to be sent the information from the CS payer.

    You are correct that a taxpayer can’t just reduce their income/hours of work and expect an automatic reduction in CS. However you do make yourself vulnerable by not knowing what case he/she is putting to the review officer. Once a review is decided it stands as equivalent to a court decision and is not easy to appeal/challenge.

    If for example he/she was having an operation and would need some recuperation time and his/her income fell by just 10% a review officer would be pretty sensible to consider something like that under ground 3 & 8.

    There are some pretty active Facebook discussion groups for both receiving parents and paying parents if you seek further advice.

    Congratulations to you both for having a daughter turning 18 and finally through the CS system without acting on the feeling that murder is appropriate for either parent or IRD CS officers.

  16. mumofone says:

    Thanks Allan Harvey 🙂

    Yeah – I decided to ring IRD back and ask for a copy of his application, at least then I also can have a better idea whether it’s likely to change anything – plus like you say, if there’s a genuine reason then it’s a bit easier to have a bit of sympathy and not resent whatever decision is arrived at.

    LOL I haven’t ever considered murder, just wished he would’ve been a better dad and spent more time with his daughter.

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