What do IRD do to Collect Child Support?

A number of parents have come across our site and asked questions around what exactly do IRD do to collect payment from parents that owe child support?

Questions like this one:

I have just work d out that I’m owed over $7000 of child support, I’ve rung and CS really don’t want to know 🙁 how can I go about getting what’s owed to me?

So we asked them and this is what they had to say.

Question to IRD: Do you have any information we can post on the web pages outlining the process those parents must follow and for re-assurance, what IRD are doing about non-payers and enforcing payments, remember, it’s the children missing out here?

Image: flickr
Image: flickr

Answer: Inland Revenue regularly monitors child support non-payments and pursues the collection of unpaid amounts. If we are unable to locate a liable parent to arrange repayments, and there is no source of income available, enforcing compliance can be challenging.

Our website outlines the options available for collection if liable parents do not make payments.

These include:

  • notices and telephone contact
  • compulsory employer deductions
  • sending deduction notices to third parties other than employers, such as banks
  • court action such as examinations, charging orders, distress warrants or arrest warrants

Receiving carers who have information that may help us locate or enforce payments from a liable parent, can contact us to provide this information if they have not already.

Non payers and the amount owed is rocketing from all accounts and it would be good to know what IRD are doing about it.
Inland Revenue continues to focus on early intervention and on reducing the size and growth of child support debt.

Budget 2014 provided us with additional funding to help improve child support compliance. We are beginning to see positive outcomes from our activities in this area, including more debt cases being closed within 12 months of opening and a reduction in the total number of debtors at the end of the year.

Early work has included an education campaign to new child support customers on their obligations, particularly taking into account the child support reform changes, ensuring they understand their obligations to help them get it right from the start. This initiative aims to progressively increase the amount of debt repaid over a five-year period with early work resulting in an extra $1.5 million recovered from liable parents.

The Child Support Amendment Act 2013 will reduce the rate at which penalties are charged from 1 April 2016. A range of provisions are also being introduced to relax the circumstances where penalties, and in some cases assessment debt, can be written off.

These measures are aimed at encouraging compliance and further reducing the size and growth of child support debt.

Question: Is it an option for the receiving parents to use a debt collection service to get payments owed and by-pass IRD all together in the collection of money?

Obviously at some point this would go through IRD as payments so its reduced etc. then the money being forwarded to the receiving parent.

Answer: (This answer is to both the above questions)
Parents who are eligible to have a private agreement for child support can choose to do so with no involvement from IR.

For parents who ask Inland Revenue to administer child support on their behalf, IR manages any debt collection activity. It is not an option at present for receiving parents to use a debt collection service to get payments owed and bypass IRD in the collection of child support payments they haven’t received.

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