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Budget 2024: The Government has announced FamilyBoost, a proposed new childcare payment to help eligible families with the rising costs of Early Childhood Education (ECE). Find out more:

Child support is money paid by parents who do not live with their child, or who share care with someone else. The money is to help with the cost of raising a child.

Liable parents can manage their child support payments through Inland Revenue by using a formula assessment or voluntary agreement, or they can be arranged through a private agreement with the other parent or non-parent carer.

For child support managed by Inland Revenue, liable parent payments are passed to receiving carers to the extent that the receiving carer has not received a benefit from Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora, the Ministry of Social Development. The withheld amount is the Crown entitlement, and this is legally enforceable. Receiving carer entitlements are not recognised as revenue, and any funds yet to be passed to the receiving carers are recorded in the Child Support Trust Account as presented in the Schedule of Non-Departmental Trust Money.

Penalties are imposed when there are defaults on child support payments.

Child support receivables include the Crown entitlement and penalties. The Crown entitlement and penalties are presented as revenue in the Schedule of Non-Departmental Revenue. Receivables are initially recognised at fair value and are subsequently tested for impairment at year end in accordance with PBE IPSAS 26 Impairment of Cash-Generating Assets.

Allowances for amounts that Inland Revenue does not expect to recover are recognised when there is objective evidence that the asset is impaired. Impairments are included in the Schedule of Non-Departmental Expenditure. Impairment losses can be reversed where there is evidence that the impaired value of the asset has increased.

From 1 July 2023, the Crown entitlement will no longer be withheld by the Crown and the total liable parent payments will be passed on to receiving carers. Crown entitlement revenue and receivables is therefore expected to decrease from 2023–24.

At the end of the year, receivables are valued by an independent external valuer using predictive models. We provide data to the valuer on receivable balances and repayments up to 30 June 2023.

To calculate the impairment of receivables, assumptions are applied to future repayment behaviour as well as economic factors such as discount rates. The recoverable amount of receivables is calculated by forecasting the expected repayments based on analysis of historical debt data and then discounting it using an appropriate rate. If the recoverable amount of the portfolio is less than the carrying amount, the carrying amount is reduced to the recoverable amount. Alternatively, if the recoverable amount is more, the carrying amount is increased.

As noted by the valuer, the uncertain and volatile nature of future repayments, as well as the impact of changes in the way Inland Revenue collects payments, means that there is significant uncertainty in the estimate of value.

The fair value of child support receivables at 30 June 2023 is $238 million, a decrease of $60 million from last year. 

The estimated recoverable amount of this portfolio and the significant assumptions underpinning the valuation of the carrying value receivables are shown below.

The Crown does not hold any collateral or any other credit enhancements over receivables for child support that are past due.

Receivables for child support are widely dispersed over a number of customers and, as a result, the Crown does not have any material individual concentrations of credit risk.

Last updated: 22 Dec 2023
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