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Childcare rebate

Debt amount: 
$550
Date debt issued: 
Saturday, 1 September 2018
Period debt occurred: 
July 2016 to June 2017
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
No
Appealing Debt?: 
Yes but I lost
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

After completing my taxes for the 2017-18 year, I recieved a devt letter for $550 in child care rebate overpayment. It took 4 months to get through on the phone and actually speak to someone.

I requested more information about how the debt had been calculated as I always overestimate my income to avoid overpayment.

By the time the lady had come off hold, my debt had magically been reduced to $300. I don't understand how she reached that amount and asked that the calculations be sent to me for appeal.
She admitted that the original $550 was an "estimated" debt.

I recieved no letters, no calculations, no more information.
I asked her if I could pay the debt in instalments, she said yes and that payment information would be forwarded to me.

As I was about to dig out my ex partners tax assessment for that year, I received an update letter about my family tax benefit showing that my debt was going to be taken at $30 per fortnight from my Family Tax Benefit payments.

I would have liked to get my ex to pay half but wasn't even given the option to pay any other way.

At this point I gave up. The debt is now repaid.

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

If I had been provided with a letter showing exactly how the debt had been calculated I would be more understanding but I have received nothing to show how they reached that conclusion.

At the time, that $30 from my FTB was extremely important to me and my family budget.

I feel defeated. A 2 year old debt? Why wasn't it picked up earlier?!

I hate debt, I always pay my bills on time no matter how frugal I have to be. I always overestimate my income to Centrelink to 1) avoid overpayments and 2) try not take funds from other more needy people.

The whole process has been demoralizing and I've become extremely wary of anything anyone who works for Centrelink says.

I had another debt from 2017/18 which I knew was coming because I couldn't update my relationship status online or in their office. I was actively trying to tell them my relationship status had changed but they put up barriers making it impossible to get through.