Help! Got a Debt Notice from Centrelink Asking for All The Part B Paid out

Hello everyone.

I recently received a debt notice from Centrelink that I owe around $6k.

I was paid family tax benefits part B and some part A because of single earner in the family with one kid. They said that cut off is 100k for part B benefits and I receive nothing now because I earned $100 more than cut off. So because of $100 I now owe $6k to Centrelink and this sounds very very unfair. Anybody has faced similar situation? Any suggestions and help is highly appreciated.

I did talk to number of people and debt recovery team regarding this and tried for an appeal but was told that appeal would not be in my favor because it is clearly above threshold.

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Comments

  • Pay the money and move on - they control the rules and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    • +1 vote

      WRONG!!!

      When dealing with centrelnk debts, the 3 golden rules are:

      1. Do not pay until you double check and triple check yourself they are in the right!!!!!!

      2. Ring the National Social Security Rights Network (NSSRN) or Social Security Rights, Victoria if in victoria. They can help with invaluable advice and help drafting a response. Google them.

      3. When calling Centrelink on the phone, the inside joke used to be "If you don't get the answer you want, HANG UP and call again, you will almost definitely get a different answer from a different operator"

      Recent personal experience shows they are NOT always right and are often WRONG.

      (Disclaimer: I used to work at DSS/centrelink, but not for a number of years now so some of my knowledge may be out of date due to changes in legislation/policy)

  • It is against the Act to deny you an appeal.

    Best follow protocol by lodging a request for a review.

    If that does not go your way,lodge an appeal.

    If they do not at least accept the lodgements,contact the Ombudsman.

    • They did not deny the appeal but convinced me that appeal would not work in my favor as it is not the case of mistake from there end rather not having the exact estimate. The $100 was Because of the meager bank interest over the year.

      • Do you have receipts you forgot to claim on last FY? Any capital losses? You got to manage every last cent carefully when dealing with Centrelink.

      • Wouldn't you have the money in savings to pay it back if you earned $100 interest?

      • A friend was told similar.

        She took my advice,got a review and had the amount reduced by several thousand dollars.

        Reckon if she actually then appealed,she would have had the slate completely wiped.

        Do you have all of you financial records?

  • Sadly, looking that the rules, it's a cliff edge at $100k, no sliding scale on benefits. So stay under $100k income next year.

  • +6 votes

    Do they take into account taxable income? Can you speak to a tax consultant and see if including anything reduces that amount. Even their own charge of lets say $150 may help and submit revised return. Assuming it's taxable income they cobsider

    • I think they consider taxable income, that's what I read. I can definitely talk to tax agent and see of they can help. I was thinking that but was not sure about it. Thanks for Pointing that out.

  • +5 votes

    Find something to reduce your income with. Any phone, computer, educational course (eg Udemy) etc etc. If you don't have an accountant, get one (since you stand to gain $6k worthwhile paying for it)

    FTB Part B is paid per family. We work out your payment rate using your adjusted taxable income and an income test.

    My highlighting:

    Taxable income
    Taxable income is your gross income minus allowable deductions. It’s the income you have to pay tax on. It includes income from:
    wages
    a business
    investments
    any taxable payments you get from us, and
    any taxable payments you get from the Department of Veterans' Affairs

  • +34 votes

    Must be nice getting handouts while making 100k.
    Try a payment plan, for hardship..

    • Must be a Howard battler living on Struggle Street.

      • We're all battlers.

        $100,000 pa, assume super is included (~$10k) after tax is about $70,000 per annum.

        Average Oz wage is about $80,000 pa, around $55,000 after tax. (Not sure what the median is, probably lower.)

        Yep, doing it tough all right (Eneloops aren't cheap in these post-DSE days).

        • Actually 100K in this situation does not include super, and minus and tax deductions you make. So they should be quite comfortable if they choose to be.

        • @blawler05:

          does not include super,

          Well, I was going for the worst-case example. But yeah, their yearly income would be at least $115K. That's definitely battler territory.

    • Tell me about it

    • Well if 2 parents were to work and earned a combined income of 100K they would have access to two tax free thresholds and would be much better off. This is what the payment is for.

    • Yeah they might have to sell a Porsche and get a BMW instead because of this!

  • pay the 6 grand from the 100 grand you making and move on.

  • It does seem a bit stiff though. So if you'd been paying attention you could have paid $100 to a charity and not had an overpayment. Plus you'd save $37 in tax.

  • I don't think you'll find much sympathy here.

    If it makes you feel any better you're still earning way over median wage

    • +3 votes

      I'd think a "revised tax return" would raise a red flag to Centrelink. You may find yourself under more scrutiny from them and from the ATO. (Though if you're doing nothing wrong you'll be fine).
      The cliff edge nature of the payment seems stupid as does the amount you can earn while still eligible (seems a lot).

    •  

      The Ozbargain community doesn't tend to empathise with anyone who receives Centrelink payments.

  • What have you lodged, tax return wise?

  • Organise a payment plan to pay them back, $20 per month.

  • definitely worth fighting it for 6k.

    try https://www.notmydebt.com.au/

    also, if you can find a receipt in the bottom drawer, amend your tax return, claim an additional $150 of deductions. Suddenly your income is 99,950.

  • I've been in a similar situation. We appealed, lost, appealed again, lost and then were told only avenue of appeal was to go to court which would cost us money.

    Best you can hope for is asking for a payment plan. Appeal process will just drag out how long before you have to pay it back.

  • If you choose not to appeal or lose the appeal, then I guess you will need to consider paying it.

    The good thing about Centrelink is that they will not charge interest as long as you have a payment plan in place. Make sure you ask for the minimum repayment possible, which is the minimum amount to be able to repay the debt fully in 52 weeks. Also, make sure you ask to have the first repayment as late as possible, as to consolidate your assets before repaying. Generally you can get a month's grace.

    Hopefully this will relieve you of your financial stress by a small margin.

    Good luck!

    •  

      Also be aware that you may need to contact Centrelink regularly to reconfirm your payment plan

  • This is awful. You will be able to pay via a payment plan. Ask for that, only a little bit every fortight. It will eventually get paid off. Next time overestimate your income.

  • Hire a better accountant.

  • some people live on 15,000 a year… not by choice. you could pay back other peoples tax money you didn't need and were not entitled to… out of your other halves 2 grand a week. aussie battler or bleeder?

  • Is this the new way to brag about how much money you make on ozbargain. Simply make a post complaining about paying the Medicare levy surcharge or losing the family tax benefit.

    What's next? Complaints about how expensive it is to insure an AMG Mercedes.

  • You POOR bastard! 😭

  • I don't understand how this problem could arise. It baffles me. Did you not know the 100k rule?

  • Let me get this straight - you make $100k and you still think you should get an extra $6k from the government?

  • apparently centrelink is doing a good job on protecting tax payers money.

  • if you choose to receive payments from a government department, you should be well aware of the associated rules surrounding it. and as it is a gov dept, at least its fairly easy to find these rules. payment is a privilege, not a right.

  • What about just doing a pre tax Super contribution? Even if your employer wont do it you can do it post tax, advise your Super fund and claim it back on your taxable income.

  • Wait, you can still get centrelink even when your job pays 100k a year? I should sign up too….

  • It's NOT because of $100 you have to repay $6000. It's because you were overpaid based on your stated income. Simples.

    $100100 per year. I will swap with you any day you like. I will pay back your $6000 and then enjoy the rest of this fiscal year, and then the full $100100 next fiscal year.

    Do the math, over means over, even if it was only $100. Centrelink continuously advises everyone on any benefit to check your numbers as any over payment can and will be recovered.

    If you have spent your $100000 already, just ask for a payment plan….or for an accountant. Either way, they will sort you and your $100000 income out to recover ill-gotten (unfair or not) taxpayer funds.

    Sorry, no sympathy here. Pay it back, learn from the mistake, and watch closer next fiscal year and so forth.

    •  

      That's a bit harsh mate. A huge percantage of debts are not valid, but are often paid with no questions asked just to "move on"

  •  

    When dealing with centrelnk debts, the 3 golden rules are:

    1. Do not pay until you double check and triple check yourself they are in the right!!!!!!

    2. Ring the National Social Security Rights Network (NSSRN) or Social Security Rights, Victoria if in victoria. They can help with invaluable advice and help drafting a response. Google them.

    3. When calling Centrelink on the phone, the inside joke used to be "If you don't get the answer you want, HANG UP and call again, you will almost definitely get a different answer from a different operator"

    Recent personal experience shows they are NOT always right and are often WRONG.

    (Disclaimer: I used to work at DSS/centrelink, but not for a number of years now so some of my knowledge may be out of date due to changes in legislation/policy)