- the payment was late or not made at all
- your assessment changed
- there was a change in your details and you did not let us know.
You'll need to sort out any child support debt as soon as possible. If you cannot pay in full, let us know how much you can pay. You can either send us a message in your myIR account or call us.
If you do not contact us, we may take action to collect the overdue amounts.
Late payment penalties
If your child support is not paid in full and on time, penalties are charged on the outstanding amount. Late payment penalties are charged on all overdue child support payments. This means that the longer a payment remains overdue, the more penalties will be added.
Penalties are charged at:
- 2% of the unpaid child support or $5, whichever is greater, the day after the due date
- 8% of the unpaid child support 7 days later.
Changes to payment penalties
From 1 April 2021, we made changes to how penalties apply to outstanding child support. Amounts that you owed before this date may have had the following additional penalties applied to them.
- 2% of the unpaid child support and penalties already charged for each of the next 12 months the outstanding amount remains overdue.
- 1% of the unpaid child support and penalties already charged from then on monthly.
Amounts that are newly outstanding after 1 April 2021 do not have these additional penalties applied to them.
We may be able to reduce or remove the penalties if you pay the overdue child support or set up a payment plan. Contact us to find out how we can help with penalties.
Setting up a payment plan
If you cannot pay all your overdue child support at once, payment plans can make things easier by splitting what you owe over weekly or fortnightly repayments. These could be automatic payments or deductions from your income. We’ll work with you to be sure any payments are at an amount you can afford.
When you make an agreement with us to repay your debt, we'll stop adding penalties. As long as you keep paying as agreed, no more penalties will be added.
Collecting overdue child support
If you do not arrange to pay your debt, we may deduct your child support from:
- salary or wages - up to 40% of your net income
- benefit payments
- ACC payments
- bank accounts - the available balance on each account
- any other money that may be payable to you, for example, a trust account or superannuation payout.
If you have a tax refund owing, we'll use this to pay your child support debt, even if you have a payment plan with us. If you live in Australia, we may request Services Australia collect payments on our behalf. We can also take legal action against you, such as restricting overseas travel.
We'll always try to agree on a payment plan with you before taking any legal action.
Keeping your child support up to date
If you pay child support, you must:
- keep your contact details with us up to date
- tell us about any changes to your income or care arrangements as soon as you can
- keep up with payments
- sort any overdue payments as soon as possible
- let us know if your payment plan is not working.