Child Support is a part of the Commonwealth Department of Human Services. It administers the Child Support legislation, which is made up of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (Cth) and the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 (Cth).
CHILD SUPPORT ASSESSMENTS
The Department of Human Services- Child Support section processes applications for child support, creates assessments of child support based on the legislative formula or a child support agreement, and manages a variety of administrative remedies which are available to customers under the legislation. The most common of these remedies include seeking a change to the level of care recorded in the assessment, lodging an Estimate of Income and seeking a Change of Assessment in Special Circumstances.
To achieve the most effective results from the formula assessment, it is important that parents lodge their tax returns promptly and provide the Department of Human Services with accurate information about the care of the children.
It is also important to notify the Department of Human Services of any other change in circumstances as soon as possible. Examples include the birth of a relevant dependent child, or if a child dies, marries or enters into a de facto relationship.
COLLECTION & ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS
If necessary, the Department of Human Services can collect payments of child support or maintenance from payers, and transfer it to payees. The Department of Human Services has a range of powers to enforce collection of child support debts if they are not paid voluntarily. These powers include the ability to collect payments directly from a payer’s employer, to intercept tax refunds due to a payer who has a child support debt, and to withdraw funds from a payer’s bank account (where it can be identified).
RELATIONSHIP WITH CENTRELINK
Child Support, Centrelink and the Family Assistance Office share information about the amount of child support calculated in an assessment, and about the level of care each person provides for the children. If the Department of Human Services is collecting the payments, information can also be provided about the actual amount of child support transferred.
Child support payments can affect Family Tax Benefit (A) entitlements. A person must have at least 35% care of a child to be eligible to apply for either child support payments or a payment of FTB(A) for a child.
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