Father must make Child Support payments despite paying taxes abroad, court rules

A father has been told that he will need to make Child Support payments even though the mother’s application for him to do so was initially dismissed by the Child Support Agency.

The child’s mother had applied for Child Support back in December 2012 from the non-resident father, who had lived in the UK from this time. The man worked in Belgium and, due to double taxation regulations, paid taxes in Belgium, but the HMRC was satisfied that as the father’s Belgian tax was higher so he did not need to pay UK income tax.

The Child Support Agency concluded that the father did not need to pay Child Support because he had no income for assessment purposes, as he was not paying UK tax. The mother appealed but the First-tier Tribunal dismissed the appeal. The mother appealed further to the Upper Tribunal that allowed the appeal and ruled that the father’s earnings should be taken into account in making an assessment. The Upper Tribunal referred the application back to the CSA to reconsider.

One of our family law experts said: “This case is important because it clearly shows that there is a misconception that you can “escape” from the Child Maintenance payments by simply moving to work abroad.

“It is no longer possible to use “loop holes” in the Child Support Agency’s assessment system. If you are employed abroad and treaties between the UK and other countries prevent you from being double taxed, your earnings from abroad will still be taken into account in calculating the amount of the Child Maintenance due.”

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