Our recommendations

Inland Revenue Department: Managing child support debt.

To control the growth of child support debt, Inland Revenue should do more to prevent debt from occurring in the first place and address, as much as it can, the effect the penalty regime is having on debt. To help achieve that, we recommend that the Inland Revenue Department:

  1. update its child support debt strategy to better promote voluntary compliance by parents and better reflect the effect the penalty regime has on debt levels;
  2. provide all parents entering the child support scheme with information that clearly and consistently informs them about their rights and responsibilities, and how the scheme operates;
  3. identify information that parents are likely to need to understand their ongoing obligations while they are in the child support scheme, and ensure that this information is made readily available to them; and
  4. assess whether the current child support penalty regime provides an impediment for parents to comply with child support obligations.
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