The Dominion Post 10 December 2007
Hundreds of “delinquent dads” earning six-figure salaries are shirking their child support obligations, refusing to stump up cash to provide for their children. Information obtained by The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act shows there are 326 parents earning more than $100,000 who are behind in their child support payments. Meanwhile, thousands more on lower incomes are in arrears, with the Inland Revenue Department chasing almost $1.2 billion in unpaid child support.
The department refused to disclose the salaries of the top10 highest-earning defaulters, citing the secrecy provision of the Tax Administration Act, but it said that income liable for child support assessment was generally capped at $104,312. There are currently 1248 parents assessed at or beyond this upper limit, meaning a quarter of those high earners are electing not to pay.
$1.18 billion in child support is currently in arrears.
$464 million is assessment debt; the remainder is penalties.
133,732 parents with a child support liability.
25 per cent of parents have failed to keep up with their obligations.
IRD wrote off $9.19 million in child support in the past year.
83.68 per cent of liable parents are male; 16.14 per cent are female and 0.18 per cent gender is unknown.
In 2007, a total of $357 million was collected; in 2005, $318 million was collected.
If parents keep to their repayment arrangements, Inland Revenue writes off the same percentage of their penalties as they have repaid of their assessment debt. So if a person repays 20 per cent of their debt within six months, then 20 per cent of the incremental penalties will be written off.