Previously the CSA was not able to collect arrears for payments that were due, but not paid, during a period of private collection. From 29 May 1995, a change in legislation allows a payee to request the CSA to collect arrears of child support amounts that were unpaid during the period of private collection. The CSA collects arrears of up to 3 months, or up to 9 months in exceptional circumstances. Arrears in excess of this would have to be collected privately by the payee.
Note: The CSA decides what constitutes exceptional circumstances.
From 1 July 2012, if a deemed amount of child support is included in the maintenance income test for a payee privately collecting less than the full child support entitlement, and the payee swaps to collection by the CSA, the use of a deemed amount would cease on the day from which CSA collection applies, or 1 July 2012, whichever is later. This includes an earlier period of underpaid private collection which is able to be collected by the CSA (generally limited to 3 months). The actual amount collected by the CSA will then be included in the maintenance income test when received. Any arrears privately collected in a future year that related to the deemed amount would be excluded from FTB calculations in the future year to prevent double counting.
The payee (or the payee and payer jointly) can elect to opt out of CSA collection. In certain circumstances, the Child Support Registrar can make a case private collect. A payer cannot make an election that CSA cease collecting child support for the payee.
When a payee (or payer and payee jointly) elects for CSA to end collection of child support, they can also elect for CSA not to collect any unpaid amounts (arrears), refer to 184.108.40.206.
When individuals change from CSA collection to private collection, they are not ending a child support assessment but stopping collection of payments by the CSA.
The CSA decides whether the individual is eligible to change from CSA collection to private collection, and informs the individual of this in writing. Individuals may lodge an objection with the CSA against a decision not to allow them to change to private collection.
Act reference: Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989
Last reviewed: 2 July 2012