We’d like to correct the record after reporting on ABC 730 last night claimed the department “may have breached its own policy” when garnisheeing customer tax returns. The following information was provided to the journalist but not reflected in reporting.
We garnish tax returns in accordance with the law and established processes that have been in place for more than two decades.
We don’t garnish the tax returns of customers currently getting income support payments.
We only take this action when other attempts to recover money owed have failed. In these cases, we notify the person before any action occurs.
People can ask us to pause debt recovery in a range of circumstances, including where they are experiencing financial hardship.
We identified an issue with the online debt repayment option on 1 August, where some customers repaid their debts more than once. This was an isolated issue and was fixed on the same day.
We contacted and reimbursed all customers affected. We apologise for any inconvenience.