Vinson v Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2019] NZFC 10329

Published 08 October 2020

Appeal against liability to pay child support — child not in care of parents — definition of carers — WINZ — family violence — protection order — fullemployment — Child Support Act 1991, ss 2, 4, 5 & 15 — Family Proceedings Act 1980, s 72(c) — Education Act 1989, ss 3, 7, 25, 28 & 152 — Interpretation Act 1999, s 5(1) — P v CIR and Others [2019] NZCA 531. The appellants were the parents of an 18-year-old who had been in the care of another couple since early 2017. The couple applied to WINZ for an unsupported child benefit, which was granted but triggered a liability of the parents to pay child support. The parents appealed this, arguing that their child was 18, not engaged in full-time study, or was employed by the couple. It was clear on the facts the child was not employed by the couple, but she was enrolled in one Spanish correspondence course. The Judge found this did not amount to being "enrolled in study" as required under the Child Support Act. The child was entitled to her own support from WINZ which would be a more appropriate source of income than an unsupported child benefit and child support payments. The appellants' appeal was successful. The Commissioner was ordered to repay child support collected from the appellants. Judgment Date: 13 December 2019. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *