2.3.4 Child support years (pre 1 July 1999)
Child support periods were introduced from 1 July 1999. Before then, the Registrar made assessments that applied to child support years.
CSA Act section 5
Child Support Legislation Amendment Act 1998 Schedule 16
On this page
- Transitional arrangements for cases with liabilities that commenced on or before 1 July 1999
- Western Australian ex-nuptial children cases
Before 1 July 1999, the Registrar made administrative assessments of the rate of child support for a period called a child support year. Child support years aligned with the financial year and ran from 1 July to 30 June. The last child support year ran from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999 (the 1998-99 child support year).
The 'last relevant year of income' for a child support year is the financial year 2 years before the child support year. In most cases, this was the most recent income tax assessment available when the Registrar made a new assessment. The last relevant year of income for the 1998-99 child support year was the 1996-97 financial year.
Each child support assessment applied to a separate child support year. This did not mean that the rate of child support stayed the same for the whole child support year. The assessment could be amended to replace default incomes or to take account of various changes such as relevant dependent children, changes in levels of care or estimates of income. Some amendments applied retrospectively to the whole of the child support year (e.g. changes to the parent's child support income arising from estimates of income or replacement of default incomes). Other amendments applied from the date of the change in circumstances, no matter when the parents advised the Registrar of that change (e.g. new relevant dependent children and changes in levels of care).
Transitional arrangements for cases with liabilities that commenced on or before 1 July 1999
Transitional arrangements applied to child support cases with liabilities that started on or before 1 July 1999. For these cases the last assessment under the old 'child support year' arrangements ended on 30 June 1999. The Registrar made a new assessment under the 'child support period' arrangements to apply to a child support period starting 1 July 1999 and ending 30 September 2000.
The transitional provisions contained a special definition of the 'last relevant year of income.' Assessments for the child support period commencing 1 July 1999 are based upon parents' income for the financial year 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998 (1997-98) increased by an inflation factor.
The transitional provisions also required the Registrar to make a new assessment for these cases when either parent's 1998-99 income tax assessments issued. Up to and including 31 May 2000, the Registrar made a new assessment if:
- the payer's 1998-99 income tax assessment issued and the Registrar had not made a new assessment because the payee's income tax assessment has previously issued, or
- the payee's 1998-99 income tax assessment issued, the payee's income could affect the rate of child support payable and the Registrar had not already made an assessment based on the payer's 1998-99 income.
Western Australian ex-nuptial children cases
The pre-July 1999 rules continued to apply up to and including 31 December 2000 to cases where the payee and child resided in Western Australia and the payer and payee had never married each other (WA ex-nuptial cases). Special transitional arrangements applied to those cases.
The Registrar made new assessments of child support for WA ex-nuptial cases to apply to a 15-month child support period commencing on 1 January 2001. The last relevant year of income for these assessments was 1999 to 2000.
Special arrangements apply to WA ex-nuptial cases where the ATO had assessed neither parent's 1999-00 taxable income before 16 December 2000. For those cases, the assessment for the child support period that started on 1 January 2001 was based upon the parents' 1998-99 taxable income. The Registrar made a new administrative assessment if the ATO issued the payer's income tax assessment for the 1999-00 year before 15 June 2001. If the ATO issued the payee's income tax assessment for the 1999-00 year before 15 June 2001, and before the payer's income tax assessment, the Registrar made a new administrative assessment as long as the payee's income would affect the rate of child support. These assessments applied to a new child support period commencing on the first day of the month following the Registrar's assessment.