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I've recently received a letter from Centrelink stating that the 'debt' that is outstanding with them is going to be deducted from my tax return.
However, I have raised a dispute with Centrelink on two seperate occasions, 6-months apart, for this same 'debt' and in both cases, they have advised that they will be getting in contact with me. However, despite updating my mailing address and never having changed any of my contact information, Centrelink have never made any effort to contact me with the exception of this new letter stating that the debt will be deducted from my tax return.
I have several questions in this regard:
1. How can Centrelink legally request that an amount that is in dispute be deducted from my Tax return?
2. What facilities are in place for me to dispute this deduction with the ATO (because the matter is still in-dispute with Centrelink), to ensure the amount is NOT taken from my tax return until which time that an outcome of the dispute has been reached?
3. What process do I need to follow in order to have this amount refunded to me once the evidence of the disputed debt is found to be unsubstantiated?
If the ATO is working in collaboration with Centrelink in order to recover these amounts, then the above facilities should be available to the public and well noted. It has been stated in a previous post (https://community.ato.gov.au/t5/General-tax-questions/Centrelink-debt/td-p/853) that the ATO must 'legally' use my Tax refund in order to recover any 'debt' owing to Centrelink, however it also states that we are to approach Centrelink directly in order to address any concerns.
Upon approaching Centrelink in regards to recovering any money owed to me as part of a Tax return, they have directed me to the ATO. If the ATO have a legal requirement to recover a debt owing to the Department of Human Services, then you must have facilities available for communication between your two departments in regards to a disputed debt.
Can you please provide me a solution to have this disputed amount investigated properly and the money owing to me for the period of 2016-2017 payed to me as required?