After failing to do my tax for a few years (my fault). I have now been issued with a demand letter from centrelink for $3,500 of the $4,400 I received on Ausstudy while retraining as a teacher.
They are saying they cannot see my details I spent two hours entering from past bank statements until I accept that I have a debt. Which I do not.
I have asked to be issued a ledger outlining when I erroneously entered the wrong income per fortnight. As Ausstudy is evaluated as a fortnightly income/payment not a FY total payment. Which is also erroneous as I only commenced receivinng ausstudy in September not July.
They said they cannot provide this.
The main reason I applied for Ausstudy was to cover the 12 weeks of the year that I worked fulll time (unpaid) as a student teacher while completing my degree. All other parts of the year I worked 3 partime/casual jobs while studying a 125% load to complete my course quicker.
So I asked how can I be told that I have received funds in error, when Centrelink are the ones calculating how much per fortnight you are entitled to?? Is the error not theirs and why should individuals now have to repay for a government department making these errors.
This would be equivalent to the power company asking everyone to pay additional for the power for last year becuase they made an error in calculating how much they should charge everyone???
I feel very sorry for the poor Centrelink staff who have to deal with this. They are doing their best but obviously some have little experience and are just give lines to say to try and get you to accept the debt. Ask to speak to a supervisor,.
If this is proved to be in error, I am going to send my MP an invoice for the hours (charged at casual teacher rate) this has taken to sort out and see how they like it.