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Centrelink debt letter tells of $7800 debt for Bathurst man

9 January 2017
Nadine Morton
Western Advocate

Bathurst man Greg Simpson has joined the call for Centrelink to gets its act together after he received a debt letter for almost $8000 just before Christmas.

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“It was for the full amount of the Family Tax Benefit paid to me from July 2014 to June 2015,” he said.

“I was shocked, I thought how am I going to come up with that money.”

The letter stated that he or his wife had not lodged their income tax returns, but Mr Simpson said they both had.

Even after spending almost two hours on the phone to Centrelink, and being told by the operator they had made an error, he said he was still advised to begin paying the bill off to avoid it going to the debt collectors.

“I’m happy to play by the rules, but if you’re going to send out letters like this they need to get their fact right,” Mr Simpson said.

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Mr Simpson said while he was savvy enough to realise that the bill was incorrect, he feared other people may simply pay it.

“If my bill was only $1000 I might have just paid it and not questioned it,” he said.

Mr Simpson said he has since been provided with a revised bill of just under $1000, but said he has not paid it fearing that it too is incorrect.