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Inland Revenue

Tax Policy

Consequential amendments

(Clauses 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13–22, 24, 25 and schedule 2)

Summary of proposed amendments

The bill also makes a number of consequential amendments to other parts of the Child Support Act 1991 so that it is consistent with the policy changes noted above. The main consequential amendments are:

  • Clause 5 amends section 2, which is the definition section. Many terms currently used in relation to the formula assessment of child support will no longer be used. These terms include eligible custodian, principal provider of ongoing care, shared custody child, and substantially equal sharing of ongoing daily care. The definitions of these terms are therefore repealed. Some new terms will be used in the new formula assessment scheme and are included in the definition section. These include the following:

    • care cost percentage (which relates to the costs associated with the proportion of ongoing daily care that a person provides to a qualifying child);
    • care order or agreement (which is a parenting order or other agreement concerning the proportion of care provided to a child);
    • carer (which refers to a parent or non-parent who provides ongoing daily care to a child, other than on a commercial basis);
    • income percentage (which is a parent’s proportion of the combined child support income amounts of all parents of a child);
    • receiving carer (which refers to a carer in respect of whom child support payments are payable).
  • Clause 6 amends section 4, which sets out the Act’s objects. The bill does not substantively change the Act’s objects as currently described, but adapts them to reflect the new formula assessment scheme implemented by the bill.
  • Clause 7 inserts a new section 4A. This gives an overview of child support liabilities under a formula assessment, and is by way of explanation only – it has no direct legal effect.
  • Clause 10 substitutes a new section 25. This maintains the current approach to the ending of liability to pay child support, but updates the section for consistency with the new formula assessment.
  • Clause 12 amends section 41, which currently sets out the effect of a liable parent electing, under section 40, to estimate his or her income as lower than it would otherwise be determined to be. Under the new formula assessment, this election will be available to any parent whose income is assessed for formula-assessment purposes.
  • Clause 13 amends section 72. This section sets out the minimum rates of child support and domestic maintenance payable by a liable person. The amendment updates the section for consistency with the new formula assessment scheme, and resets the starting figure on which minimum payments for child assessment under a formula assessment are set.
  • Clause 14 substitutes new section 82. Section 82 currently obliges liable parents under a formula assessment to advise the Commissioner of certain changes affecting their living circumstances. The section is amended to extend the obligation to all parents, and to non-parent carers regarding changes affecting their care cost percentage. It adjusts the wording to reflect the new living allowance, dependent child allowance, and multi-group allowance.
  • Clause 15 substitutes new sections 88, 88A, and 89. These sections set out the minimum specific information that must be included in notices of assessment sent by the Commissioner to parents and carers.
  • Clause 16 amends section 90, which identifies the appealable decisions of the Commissioner that any person affected by the decision may object to.
  • Clause 17 amends section 91, which sets out the child support and other assessments against which objections may be made.
  • Clause 18 amends section 92, which sets out requirements relating to objections.
  • Clause 19 amends section 96Q by identifying the parties to proceedings under Commissioner-initiated administrative reviews as being the parent who is the subject of the review (the subject parent) and any receiving carer who elects, under section 96Y, to become a party.
  • Clause 20 repeals sections 100 and 101 on the basis that all appeals relating to objections against an assessment can be made on the more open-ended basis provided for in sections 102 and 103.
  • Clause 21 amends section 106(1), which identifies the orders that a court may make following an application under section 104 seeking a departure from the provisions of the Act relating to a formula assessment.
  • Clause 22 inserts a new section 152B. It replicates the effect of section 34, which is to allow the Commissioner to offset payments of child support under a formula assessment to one parent from any payments payable by the other parent.
  • Clause 24 further amends the Child Support Act 1991 as set out in schedule 2. This provides for some further consequential amendments of a more mechanical nature.
  • Clause 25 consequentially amends section 16(6) of the Adoption Act 1955.