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Child Support is changing

February 25, 2015

The way the IRD work out how much child support liable parents/carers need to pay is changing from 1 April 2015. They will be updating all our child support forms and guides to reflect the changes.

The changes mean the amount of child support you pay or receive might be different next year. Child support will be based on the costs of raising children and the new formula will acknowledge the additional costs of teenagers.

Next year, the pink Child support formula assessment application (IR101) form will be replaced by two new application forms. Under the new rules, if you're applying for child support as a parent you'll need to complete the new orange IR101 application form Application to assess child support.

If you're applying as a non-parent carer (such as a grandparent) you'll need to complete a new orange Application to assess child support by a non-parent carer (IR954) form.

If the IRD accept your application for child support between February and April 2015, you and the person (or people) assessed to pay child support will receive two notices from us. The child support amounts may be different in these notices.

The first notice (using the current rules) will set out the amount of child support payable until 31 March 2015. The second notice (using the new rules) will set out the amount of child support payable on or after 1 April 2015.

The IRD website has more information about the child support changes, including a video and calculators so you can find out what the changes might mean for you.

Paid Parental Leave increased in 2015

Paid parental leave is a government-funded entitlement to eligible working mothers and adoptive parents when they take parental leave from their job(s) to care for their newborn or adopted child (under the age of six). These payments go towards lost income for working mothers and adoptive parents.

Currently you can receive paid parental leave for a maximum of 14 weeks. A change announced in Budget 2014 has increased to 16 weeks the maximum number of weeks you can take paid parental leave for a baby expected/born, or for a child adopted, on or after 1 April 2015. You'll still be able to transfer the paid parental leave to your spouse or partner, as long as they also qualify for paid parental leave from their employer or self-employment.

The change to 16 weeks has introduced two situations where you may not think you're entitled to the extra two weeks of paid parental leave, when you are. You're entitled to the extra two weeks if your baby is expected:

  1. before 1 April 2015 but arrives on or after 1 April 2015, or
  2. on or after 1 April 2015 but arrives before 1 April 2015.

If this applies to you and you intend to take the extra two weeks of paid parental leave:

  • you'll need to phone IRD on 0800 227 774 and tell them your baby's date of birth, or expected due date
  • if you're an employee, you'll need to tell your employer you're going to take more parental leave, if you've already arranged to take less than 16 weeks off work.

IRD will make sure your payments continue for the extra two weeks.

Parental Tax Credit increased in 2015

Parental tax credit is a payment to help with the initial costs of having a newborn baby. It's paid for the first 8 weeks or 56 days after the baby is born.

A change announced in Budget 2014 has increased the number of weeks and maximum entitlement for babies born on or after 1 April 2015. How much can be received depends on family circumstances.

Note: You can either get parental tax credit or paid parental leave. You can't get both at the same time.

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