Go to top of page

Tax return taken with out any knowledge of me even having a debt

Debt amount: 
Date debt issued: 
Thursday, 8 August 2019
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
Payment Type: 
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?: 
I don't know how to
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

So this year I decide to do my tax on the 6th of August 2019 with out any knowledge or prior information on even know that I had a debt with centerlink
so nothing in the mail, no phone calls, no any form of contact. Until. So I'm happerly waiting on my tax return to come through. Until
I receive a letter in the mail on the 8th of August saying I owe centerlink $6500 in over payment. And then jumped on to the centerlink and ato sight to find out that they have taken all of my my tax return.
And now I'm in financial crisis as my tax return was going to pay for my rego and any bills that were in arrears,
So i could still get to work. That is a hour and a half away from where i live.
I honestly don't know where to start. How can they do that to people? Especially people who are just trying to get back on to there feet again and trying to get off centerlink and make a better life for themselves.

The same thing has happened to my husband they took his tax return also but he knew he had a debt that and was still in the process of working with centerlink to find out where it has come from and was supposed to be on hold until the matters we're sorted out and was on pause as he was taking it to the tribunal and fighting it as centerlinks calculations we're wrong. As this debt was apparently back in 2005 .
We now are both stressed and our anxiety levers are through the roof trying to work out how we are going to survive and how we're are going to afford to keep our cars on the road to get to work. So we can stay off centerlink.
How can they just take money from my tax return with out me knowing anything in advance about even having a debt in the first place?
I honestly don't know where to start. Or the process i have to take to try and fight this. I'm utterly destroyed. My family is destroyed as we are a young struggling family just trying to make ends meet.
My health is slowly declining and have just found out that i have a incurable disease and and have been put on cancer medication. . . i don't understand how centerlink and the ato robot debt has even occurred.
How do they have any right to just take money from people without informing the person. Isn't that theft ?

How do you feel about the way the Government has handled this process?: 

Descusting. No information on how i even occurredor got this debt. Or how they calculated the amount. Or how they have even worked out that i have been over paid?.
You can't get a proper answer from centerlink customer service and keep getting shipped around to different people who also don't know how or where the debt had originated from. You could wast a hole day just waiting on the phone and on hold just to have someone pick up the phone and also can not answer your questions. Or help let alone don't even understand how the debt has occurred. It's kind of like they just assume the system is correct and it's lump it and suck it up . when asking how did they estimate that amount they say oh they are going off the estimated amount that you have given them. at this current point of time.
Even when you say to them i am unsure on what the correct calculations and am not good at maths. Ive even had one person say oh it dosen't matter just give me a rough number.
Even when you tell them that you workwork casual hours so some weeks may be more and some weeks may be less. They still want number on a rough estimate. Knowing that it could be wrong. And that's how you occur a debt.
So they are actual putting people in debt as they know it could be wrong that's what they go off.and then times that estimated number by 12
It's straight out wrong. And seem that the underdog has no grounds to fight the system to get there money back. Legal aid won't help or touch it and ombudsman are not much help. Center link want you to pull up information and pay slips from 7years ago. Who keeps payslips from a job they had from 7 years ago.?