Announcements
PUBLISHED 5 August 2008

Child support data matching begins

Information matching between Inland Revenue and New Zealand Customs for the purpose of recovering outstanding child support debt will begin at the end of the week, the government announced today. The new system, which was legislated for last year, will enable Inland Revenue to know when liable parents with significant child support debt enter or leave the country. The start-up date was approved by an Order in Council signed yesterday. For more information see the media statement.


Hon Peter Dunne
MP for Ohariu Belmont
Minister of Revenue
Associate Minister of Health

MEDIA STATEMENT

Child support information matching begins

Information matching between Inland Revenue and New Zealand Customs for the purpose of recovering outstanding child support debt will begin at the end of the week, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne announced today.

“The new system, which was legislated for late last year, will enable Inland Revenue to know when child support debtors enter or leave the country, which will be a useful tool that will complement existing enforcement measures,” Mr Dunne said.

“New Zealand Customs will check names provided by Inland Revenue against the arrival and departure information it holds, and when a match occurs it will give the relevant information to Inland Revenue.

“Having information on the arrival of parents with outstanding child support debt, even for short visits, will make it possible for Inland Revenue to contact them to arrange payment. If necessary, Inland Revenue can also take legal steps to prevent them subsequently leaving the country.

“Child support debt is now over $1 billion, a figure that is too high but must be viewed in context: about two-thirds of that debt is penalties for late payment that have compounded over the years.

“In the year to June, Inland Revenue collected $367 million in child support payments. Part of that figure went to custodial parents, of which there are about 175,000, and part to the Crown to offset the cost of the Domestic Purposes Benefit. Overall, Inland Revenue collects nearly 90 percent of the child support that is assessed.

“I welcome the start-up of information matching between Inland Revenue and New Zealand Customs as a useful measure for chasing up parents who do not take their child support obligations seriously,” Mr Dunne said.

The start-up date of the information matching system was approved by an Order in Council.

Contact:

Ted Sheehan
04 817 6985