Have Your Say On Changes To The Child Support Scheme
The Social Services and Community Committee is calling for public submissions on the Child Support Amendment Bill, which was referred to the committee on 6 May 2020.
The child support scheme will move to Inland Revenue’s new systems and process in April 2021. This move creates opportunities to improve the administration of the scheme. Some of the scheme’s current provisions and penalties are punitive and can result in unfairness, while others have arisen because a situation was not anticipated or a person’s situation is unusual or complex. This can lead to dissatisfaction with the scheme, reduced compliance, and act as a disincentive to pay.
Changes to the bill would look to improve administration, reduce complexity, improve fairness, and increase compliance. These include:
- Simplifying penalty rules by
- extending the second phase of the initial penalty so that Inland Revenue has more time to contact a customer to get them back on track
- removing the rule that provides that the minimum penalty imposed is $5
- introducing a grace period of 60 days where late payment penalties will not be charged, to allow people new to the scheme time to adjust to making payments
- Introducing payment of financial support by compulsory deduction from source deduction payments made by an employer to newly liable persons
- Placing a time limit on reassessing child support years by introducing a rule that would restrict reassessments of a child support year to a 4-year period, giving parents more certainty
- Amending the definition of “income” to better reflect a parent’s financial capacity by incorporating investment income and no longer offsetting losses from earlier years.
Tell the Social Services and Community Committee what you think
Make a submission on the bill by midnight on 24 June 2020.
For more details about the bill:
- Read the full content of the bill
- What’s been said in Parliament about the bill?
- Follow the committee’s Facebook page for updates