I received this debt more than a year after starting my current job after providing payslips on request after a call informing me I had a $400 "provisional debt".
I thought that sending these payslips would clear up this confusion but after logging in to mygov to lodge my 2018/19 tax return I saw that I'd been sent a letter to a previous address with no email/text notification saying I had until the end of the month to pay an almost $300 debt based on a completely made up figure that was complete numberwang, claiming I had under-reported income over a nine day period they were claiming a debt for.
With the guidance of NotMyDebt I sent off a request for an Authorised Review Officer and FOI request.
This officer called me on the next business day and it turned out that not only was income from when I was on Youth Allowance taken into account while being well under the amount I had in income bank, when I was transitioned to newstart my working credits were reset to zero instead of being carried over to a thousand as they should have - this is in addition to it coming to light that my initial report during that period actually over-reported what I had earned by around $30.
Thankful that the debt got reversed but tensions were extremely high over this two week period - already stressful as it's tax time and very busy at work.
Abhorrent that this process is considered standard operating procedure at the DHS, preying on already low-income earners with demands to prove they don't owe a completely fictitious debt, all to crack down on completely fictitious "dole bludgers" — how many tax dollars were wasted just on trying to chase me down for a fake debt, only to turn around and admit it was all wrong when challenged?
Will continue not voting for the Libs — thanks Scomo.