You can use Child Support Collect if we’ve done any of the following:
- made a child support assessment
- accepted a child support agreement
- registered a court order for child support.
There are other collection options you may be able to use. You can compare child support collection options.
Child Support Collect may impact your Family Tax Benefit payments. Read more about child support and Family Tax Benefit.
Using Child Support Collect
Who can use it
Only the receiving parent can apply for Child Support Collect.
You can use Child Support Collect if:
- you find it hard to talk with each other about child support
- you need help to make sure payments are on time and in full
- you need help to get payments back on track if they fall behind
- the paying parent doesn’t regularly lodge tax returns.
What if the paying parent doesn’t regularly lodge tax returns
If this happens, we’ll rely on a provisional income to assess child support.
If the paying parent lodges their tax returns later, we may amend the child support assessment for those years. This could result in a child support overpayment or arrears. If this happens, we’ll contact you.
Zara is the receiving parent in a Child Support Collect case. We based her past child support assessment on the provisional income of the paying parent, Ken. This is because he hadn’t lodged a tax return in 3 years.
We then got Ken’s actual income details from the Australian Taxation Office. Ken’s income was higher than the provisional income we used. Therefore the child support assessment for that period changes and Ken now owes Zara child support.
The amount of child support Zara should have received for the past 3 financial years increased. This change doesn’t affect her Family Tax Benefit Part A because her payments are balanced at the end of each financial year. We base her payments on the actual amount of child support she receives. Not the amount she’s assessed to receive. We assess any child support arrears Zara receives from those past 3 financial years. We assess this in the financial year she actually receives the payment. This is for Family Tax Benefit Part A purposes.
Who does what
There are 3 things we do. We:
- set the payment amount
- collect payments from the paying parent
- transfer payments to the receiving parent.
If you’re the paying parent, you choose a payment method.
If you’re the receiving parent, you give us your bank details.
How much you pay
When you pay
You choose how often to pay. This can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
Payments are for the past week, fortnight or month. You shouldn’t pay in advance. They’re due 7 days after the week, fortnight or month ends.
How you pay
You choose a payment method. We don’t take cash.
Always give your 16 digit payment reference number every time you pay. It’s on your payer account statement.
Call us on the Child Support enquiry line if you can’t find your reference number or need more information.
How you receive statements
Each month we send you a payer account statement. If you have a Child Support online account you’ll get this online. If not, you’ll get it by post.
How much you’ll receive
When you’ll receive it
We transfer the money to you on any business day on, or after, the 8th of each month.
We can only do this when we receive it from the paying parent. There must also be at least $5.00 to transfer and we need to have your correct bank details.
Payments are for the month that just ended, not in advance.
How you’ll receive it
We can send your payments by bank transfer. For international customers we can also send cheques.
Transferring into your bank account
We transfer payments to the Australian bank account you choose.
You must give us the correct bank details. These must include:
- branch number (BSB)
- account number
- account name.
If we pay into the wrong account we may not be able to get the money back for you.
Sending you a cheque
We may be able to send your payments by cheque. We can only do this if you live overseas and can’t use an Australian bank account.
How you’ll know when we pay you
We can let you know through your Child Support online account when we transfer money to you. Just log in to your account and sign up for email alerts.
If you don’t already have one, set up a Child Support online account.
Telling us about changes
Tell us straight away about any changes that may affect child support. This will help us make sure your assessment is accurate and change it if it isn’t.
You can tell us by either: