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Income changes to child support assessments

The Child Support Agency published the following media release on 19 July 2010. View it online at http://www.csa.gov.au/media/csamediarelease.aspx?ArticleID=938
Separated parents will notice additional types of income are being included in their new child support assessments.
Legislative changes, introduced 1 July 2009, mean parents’ adjusted taxable incomes for the 2009-2010 financial year now include reportable superannuation contributions and total net investment losses. This is in addition to other income sources, including:

  • taxable income
  • reportable fringe benefits
  • foreign income
  •  some tax free pensions or benefits

The Child Support Agency’s (CSA) Chief Operating Officer, Geoff Mutton, said the changes will provide a more comprehensive picture of both parents’ financial situations, which will ultimately benefit their children.

“The recent inclusion of salary-sacrificed superannuation and total net investment losses, such as losses from rental properties or shares, will allow us to do a more accurate child support assessment based on both parents’ financial capacity to pay,” Mr Mutton said.

“Separated parents on a wage or salary can continue to enjoy the tax benefits of salary sacrificing, while ensuring their children receive the right amount of child support.

“Parents’ income for the 2009-10 financial year will be used for the new child support period that starts after 1 July, so many separated parents may only now be noticing these changes to their assessments. However, parents who lodged an income estimate or applied for a change of assessment during the last financial year may already be aware of these changes.

“I encourage parents to talk to a financial counsellor or accountant to explore their financial options and find out more about the changes to the definition of income and its effect on child support assessments.

“Separated parents who experience a change in their income or circumstances should contact the CSA immediately to ensure their child support assessment is correct,” Mr Mutton said.

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