Child Support changes for 2016 

A number of changes to child support take effect from 1 April 2016.

Decrease in the child support qualifying age

The qualifying age for children to be included in a child support assessment is under 18 (previously it was under 19), unless the child is 18 and enrolled at and attending school. This change applies to children you pay or receive child support for and children you've named as dependents.

Watch Inland Revenue's video about changes to the age limit in child support.

Penalty rate change and debt write off changes

There is now a two-stage penalty for late payments:

  • An initial 2% penalty which applies on the day after payment was due 
  • An additional 8% penalty after a further seven days, if the amount remains unpaid. 
  • After a year, if the debt remains unpaid incremental penalties charged each month will reduce from 2% to 1%.

There are also a wider range of situations where you can have your child support debt written off (if you are a liable parent in debt you can call Inland Revenue on 0800 221 221 to find out more).

You can watch a video about sorting out overdue child support payments on the Inland Revenue website.

Two new child support administrative review grounds

There are now 12 grounds for applying for a review of your child support (up from ten). The new grounds recognise re-establishment costs and debt offsetting. Visit the Inland Revenue website to read about the grounds for an administrative review.

More information about administrative reviews is on the Inland Revenue website.

Deductions from your employment income

Liable parents can now arrange for their employer to make child support deductions from their wages and pay them to Inland Revenue.

For a full run-down of the changes in 2016 and 2015 visit the Inland Revenue website.