Fixed and minimum assessments

We can base some child support assessments on a fixed rate or a minimum rate.

Fixed rate

Fixed rate assessments set an amount you need to pay in a year.

Who it’s for

This rate is for paying parents who:

  • have a low adjusted taxable income for the last relevant year
  • didn’t receive an income support payment in the last relevant year and
  • don’t have at least shared care of the child

How much you pay

The fixed rate for child support periods starting on or after 1 January 2017 is $1,390 per child per year.

If you pay the fixed rate for more than 3 children, we’ll cap the amount at 3 times the fixed rate.

If you pay the fixed rate to more than 1 person, we divide the amount between those receiving parents.

If you can’t pay the fixed rate

You can ask us not to use the fixed rate if you can show:

  • your current income from all sources is genuinely low, and
  • it would be unfair to expect you to pay the fixed rate

Apply using your Child Support online account with myGov.

If you can’t access myGov, use the Application for fixed annual rate not to be used form.

Minimum rate

A paying parent must usually pay at least the minimum rate of child support.

Who it’s for

You may pay this rate if:

  • your child support assessment works out to less than the minimum rate, and
  • you don’t have at least regular care of any of the children in the child support case

The minimum rate for child support periods starting on or after 1 January 2017 is $420 per year.

If you earn less than the minimum rate

You can ask us to reduce your payments to $0.

Apply using the Application to reduce minimum assessment to nil.

If you have 2 or more cases

You’ll pay the minimum rate for each child support case.

If you pay the minimum rate for more than three families, you’ll pay three times the minimum rate.

If you pay the minimum rate and your income goes up

In some circumstances you may stay on the same rate for up to 28 days.

After that we use your new income in the assessment.

If you receive income support from us and owe child support

We can take up to three times the minimum rate out of your income support payment. We can keep doing this as long as you have child support to pay us.

Call us to talk about what you can do about these deductions.

Page last updated: 13 December 2017