Separated Parents Need To Lodge Tax Returns Promptly

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7th September 2009, 12:48pm - Views: 562
Separated Parents Need to Lodge Tax Returns Promptly

Media Release

7 September 2009

Separated parents could find themselves in danger of not paying the right amount of support for their kids if they don't submit their tax returns on time.

Child support assessments are calculated using both parents' income details, along with the age of their children and the level of care each parent provides.

This means it's important for separated parents who earnt more than $18,808 during the 2008- 09 financial year lodge their tax returns shortly after they receive their payment summaries.

Child Support Agency (CSA) National Enforcement Services Manager, Bill Volkers, said he understands people might put off doing their tax returns, but if a child support case is involved it is essential to promptly lodge tax returns to ensure assessments are accurate and fair. It is a legal requirement for most people to lodge their tax returns by the end of October.

"If your current child support assessment is based on an estimate of income, it is particularly important to promptly lodge your tax return to help ensure we are using the most accurate income for your assessment," Mr Volkers said.

"Where a parent does not lodge a tax return, the CSA may have to use a default income rate if we are unable to obtain a customer's income information another way.

"If an assessment is not accurate because the appropriate income details are not available, then a parent may have to make additional payments or pay back child support already received.

"Nobody wants the hassle of having to find money to pay, or pay back, child support later on down the line because the CSA didn't have enough information available for an accurate child support assessment.

"All kids with separated parents deserve to have the appropriate amount of financial support, and this is more likely to occur if both separated parents promptly lodge their tax return," Mr Volkers said.

Parents preparing their own tax return can lodge online for free using e-tax, the Australian Tax Office's secure and easy to use software. Alternatively, to lodge via paper, Tax Pack 2009 is available from most newsagents and ATO Shopfronts.

If parents have questions about how their income is taken into account for their child support assessments, they can contact the CSA on 131 272.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Phone (02) 6272 8686 or email [email protected]

SOURCE: Child Support Agency

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